I wrote the following story for print today, but it didn’t run in all the papers in the network. So, here it is if you missed it.
TUSCALOOSA — One by one, Alabama’s assistant football coaches stepped to the microphone Saturday afternoon.
Each drew an ovation from the 30,000-plus at Bryant-Denny Stadium celebrating last season’s national football championship. At the end of the line stood two who had nothing to do with the past, but figure largely into the Crimson Tide future.
Newly hired linebackers coach Lance Thompson and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier offered a brief greeting before ceding the floor.
“It’s great to be home in sweet home Alabama,” said Thompson, now in his third term as a Tide assistant.
Recruiting is the immediate concern, but Thompson is doing his homework for the X’s and O’s of the spring and fall to come. Before leaving for Tennessee to coach linebackers three years ago following two seasons with the Tide, he recruited rising senior linebacker Nico Johnson to Alabama.
So he turned to one of the defense’s top returners for advice.
“He was asking me what type of talent he had,” Johnson said. “Pretty much all the players he recruited are leaving or are the ones in my class.”
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