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Alabama locked in recruiting battle with one of the last schools anyone would expect

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Imagine you’re an NFL team with an urgent need at quarterback. All other things being equal, would you rather have the guy who spent four years at Alabama in Nick Saban’s championship program or the one who spent four years at Princeton playing in FCS against lower-tier competition?

Now imagine you’re at Goldman Sachs looking to hire a recent finance graduate to train as an investment banker. Same two guys. One has a football-factory education at a public university ranked 110th in the gold-standard U.S. News rankings. The other guy went to Princeton.

This question is at the heart of a bizarre recruiting battle between the Crimson Tide and the Tigers for the football services of Brevin White, a hotly recruited prospect out of Lancaster, California, and hard commit to the Ivy League.

White visited Alabama last week, and from a football point of view, he certainly sounded impressed in an interview with that recruiting blitz:

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“It was an incredible visit. I’m really glad I had a chance to experience it,” White said via 247 Sports. “I would say the highlight was probably having breakfast at coach Saban’s house and being in that environment with the rest of the coaches.

“It was all a pretty surreal feeling sitting across from the best college football coach in the country. It was pretty crazy to take in. The whole visit was great though. From being at the basketball game in that crazy atmosphere, seeing the business school and breaking down film with the coaches, it was a really eye-opening experience.”

White got a chance to meet with quarterbacks coach Dan Enos and offensive coordinator Mike Locksley as well, and he was similarly impressed by them.

“Coach Enos actually got there the same day I did,” he said. “I had some good talks with both coach Enos and coach Locksley. We went over film, drew up plays on the chalkboard and just talked football and that was fun for me.

Do you think Brevin White should choose Alabama over Princeton?

“They talked about the offense they plan to run and they basically said no matter who the OC is, it’s Nick Saban’s offense. They’re going to adjust and tailor it to the quarterback and his skill set and there will be some wrinkles in there depending on who the OC but end of the day, Alabama is going to run a physical, pro-style offense and I think I fit it pretty well.”

On top of that, White met strength coach Scott Cochran, and Cochran’s ability to turn young men into ’80s action movie heroes was not lost on White as well.

“To be honest, meeting coach Cochran was one of my favorite parts of the trip,” White said. “The way they do things there is incredible in their approach and attention to detail. His philosophy is about training the mind and the body together and the resources they have to elevate your performance really opened my eyes to why they’re so successful.

“Coach Saban was very upfront and honest with me and he told me they like me and want me to be their guy. He didn’t give me a deadline or anything in terms of when I need to let them know what I’m going to do but I’m not going to drag this out. I know they need an answer so they can move on to another quarterback if I decide to stay with Princeton.”

But White’s real dream comes through when you ask him why he committed to Princeton: His goal in life is to work on Wall Street in investment banking, thus his dilemma.

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Said White: “Then you have Princeton and all they have to offer. Another dream I’ve had is to work on Wall Street for at least a year and experience that life. I want to major in Business and go in to investment banking and a degree from Princeton can open up so many doors. These two schools are truly the best of both worlds. They’re the best in the country in their area of strength.”

And let’s face it: The big money the NFL offers is great, but really, whose money would you rather have, Tom Brady’s or Robert Kraft’s? The real big bucks in New York, for example, aren’t made at Giants Stadium; they’re made in lower Manhattan in the financial district.

Or, as Chris Rock once said, “Shaq is rich. The guy who signs Shaq’s checks is wealthy.

But then again, there’s a lot to be said for 100,000 fans who love you screaming your name when you run out of the tunnel.

We’ll find out which way White will go come National Signing Day on Feb. 7.

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Boston born and raised, Fox has been writing about sports since 2011. He covered ESPN Friday Night Fights shows for The Boxing Tribune before shifting focus and launching Pace and Space, the home of "Smart NBA Talk for Smart NBA Fans", in 2015. He can often be found advocating for various NBA teams to pack up and move to his adopted hometown of Seattle.
Boston born and raised, Fox has been writing about sports since 2011. He covered ESPN Friday Night Fights shows for The Boxing Tribune before shifting focus and launching Pace and Space, the home of "Smart NBA Talk for Smart NBA Fans", in 2015. He can often be found advocating for various NBA teams to pack up and move to his adopted hometown of Seattle.
Birthplace
Boston, Massachusetts
Education
Bachelor of Science in Accounting from University of Nevada-Reno
Location
Seattle, Washington
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Sports




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