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Just A Minute: Nick Saban is Doing it Again, Adjusting and Adapting

Alabama's latest recruiting targets underscore the Crimson Tide's growing priority of finding players who can contribute right away.

On Tuesday, the Crimson Tide received a commitment from junior college interior linebacker Justin Jefferson, who is known for his speed and versatility. 

On deck are a number of other high-profile prospects including Elijah Davis, a defensive tackle at East Mississippi Community College, and Malik Benson, the wide receiver from Hutchinson C.C. in Kansas. 

Nick Saban recruiting players from the junior college level isn't anything new, as he's previously landed players like Terrence Cody, James Carpenter, Jesse Williams, DeQuan Menzie and Quinton Dial. 

But it's been a long time since he's done so at this level.  

It also signals another change in Saban's approach with the Crimson Tide, which has been huge in Alabama's ability to be a consistent challenger for the national championship. 

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For years, when Saban brought in junior college players it was with the understanding that there was a clear need on the roster, and the additions were expected to challenging for playing time immediately. 

The former was definitely true when the Crimson Tide made a late addition to the signing Class of 2022 with tight end Miles Kitselman, also from Hutchinson C.C.

But when paired with transfer portal additions like Jermaine Burton, Jahmyr Gibbs, and Eli Ricks, who all have the potential to make big splashes with the Crimson Tide this season, on top of the success  Jameson Williams and Henry To'oTo'o had last year, and there's now even more of an an emphasis on immediacy. 

Perhaps Saban's age has something to do with it, and probably shouldn't be completely discounted. But this is primarily just the way college football has changed and the coach is doing whatever he can to help his team. 

Besides, with the turnover on every roster higher than ever, from players leaving early for the NFL to those having a better chance to start somewhere else, four- and five-year players are becoming rarer with each passing year. 

Christopher Walsh's commentary, Just A Minute, appears every week on BamaCentral.