When coach Nick Saban was hired as coach of the University of Alabama, one of the first prospects he called on the recruiting trail was wide receiver Marquis Maze.
"One fun fact is that, the day after he got off the plane and was hired, he got in contact with me," Maze told the All Things Bama Podcast. "I did not have an offer from Alabama until then. He just asked me if I would give this staff an opportunity to make things right and that's what happened.
"Coach Saban told me the truth."
And the rest was history.
As a member of Saban's first signing class in Tuscaloosa, Maze would go on to be apart of the program for five seasons (2007-2011), win two national championships in 2009 and 2011, one SEC title, and finish his career with 136 catches, 1,844 yards and eight touchdowns.
The speedy wideout says that he favors the 2009 season, that resulted in a perfect 14-0 record and title over Texas in Pasadena, Calif., over the national championship victory in 2011 against LSU.
"We were so resilient," Maze said. "Our mindset never changed. That was just mental toughness, even in the games we struggled with in that season. We had the No. 1 defense, Mark [Ingram], Julio [Jones], me, Darius Hanks, Trent Richardson. That was a special group of guys.
"I think that first national championship was a defining moment for all of us because people did not expect that from us. It was one of those moments where you prove a nation wrong. It was the first one since 1992 so it definitely carries more weight."
Maze says he still keeps in touch with plenty of members from that squad like Kareem Jackson, Rolando McClain, Josh Chapman, Richardson, among others.
"Those are my friends for life," Maze said. "We went through a lot together."
However, after the Crimson Tide's 9-6 overtime loss to the Tigers in the 2011 regular season, in what was billed the 'Game of the Century,' Maze knew a rematch with the Bayou Bengals was eminent.
"I actually did an interview that night, after the game, saying we would see them again," Maze said. "And it happened. We were highly confident going into the rematch because we all felt like we should have never lost the first one to begin with."
The Crimson Tide's confidence was on full-display that night, dominating LSU from start to finish in a 21-0 shutout in New Orleans.
Maze, who still watches and cheers on his alma mater each week in the fall, gave his insight into how the 2020 season could go for the Crimson Tide.
"Me and Justin Woodall were just talking about this last week," Maze said. "The 10-game, conference-only schedule is going to be real tough. You have 10 games where, you know, you can not take off. Every team is going to give you their best shot.
"Alabama is Alabama so these teams are really trying to beat you. It will be a tough year, but hopefully those guys can stand strong and finish the job. But is definitely going to be tough."