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During 2024 NFL Draft coverage, Nick Saban admits Alabama wanted Toledo CB Quinyon Mitchell to transfer to the Tide

In Sports
April 26, 2024

Nick Saban gave football fans some insight into how college football coaches have approached the transfer portal in recent seasons on ESPN’s NFL Draft coverage Thursday night.

The former Alabama coach admitted during the first round of the draft that Alabama had targeted Toledo cornerback Quinyon Mitchell during his college career. Mitchell stayed with Toledo throughout his college career. And it wasn’t because he didn’t have any interest from other schools.

“He was our No. 1 in guy in the portal last year to try to get him to come out of the portal and he didn’t ever get in the portal,” Saban said.

Mitchell was one of the first defensive players taken in the first round and went with pick No. 22 to the Philadelphia Eagles. Mitchell was the sixth defender chosen after offensive players were taken with each of the first 14 picks of the draft. He was also the first cornerback drafted on Thursday night and went two picks ahead of former Alabama cornerback Terrion Arnold.

Saban was included in ESPN’s draft coverage as part of his new role as an analyst with the network following his retirement from the Crimson Tide. He’s always provided key insight in previous TV appearances and his revelation Thursday night about Mitchell was no different.

While Saban didn’t reveal if or how Alabama would have contacted Mitchell or people around him to attempt to get him into the transfer portal, his comments make it clear that staffs across the country are scouting other rosters for potential transfer targets long before those players announce their intentions to enter the transfer portal.

That may not be much of a revelation to you if you’re a die-hard football fan. However, it’s still eyebrow-raising to see someone like Saban mention that aspect publicly. Especially on a big platform like ESPN.

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