- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Nick Saban may have just thrown some more fuel on the fire.

The Alabama coach on Tuesday garnered the commitment of four-star quarterback Eli Holstein, who had previously chosen to play for Jimbo Fisher at Texas A&M. The move comes amid a public spat between the two coaches over Saban’s accusation that the Aggies “bought every player” in their top-ranked recruiting class. 

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound signal-caller is entering his senior year at Zachary High School in Louisiana. He is ranked as the 59th best recruit on ESPN’s Class of 2023 list. 

Holstein orally committed to play for Texas A&M in June, but changed his mind in March and decommitted.

The feud began last week with Saban’s comments at a business event in Alabama, which caused an uproar in college football and a scathing rebuke from Fisher. The seven-time national champion complained about the current recruiting landscape in college football and accused SEC foe Texas A&M and Deion Sanders’ Jackson State of violating the NCAA’s NIL rules. 

“I mean, we were second in recruiting last year. A&M was first. A&M bought every player on their team — made a deal for name, image, likeness,” Saban said. “We didn’t buy one player, all right? But I don’t know if we’re gonna be able to sustain that in the future because more and more people are doing it. It’s tough.”

Fisher then took the squabble to the next level with an impromptu press conference the following day, during which he denied Saban’s allegations and called his former boss at LSU a “narcissist.” 

“Some people think they’re God,” Fisher said about Saban. “Go dig into how God did his deal. You may find out about a guy, a lot of things you don’t want to know. We build him up to be this czar of football. Go dig into his past or anybody who’s ever coached with him. You can find out anything you want to find out what he does and how he does it.”

While Holstein choosing Alabama is certainly a humorous coincidence amid the fight between Saban and Fisher, the bigger implications could involve five-star quarterback Arch Manning. 

The grandson of Archie and nephew of Super Bowl winners Peyton and Eli is considered one of the best players in the 2023 class and was rumored to be considering Alabama along with Georgia, Ole Miss and Texas. 

• Jacob Calvin Meyer can be reached at jmeyer@washingtontimes.com.

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