Of course Nick Saban sounds like a proud coach when one of his former players leaves Alabama for the NFL.
But he firmly believes the Jets benefit tremendously when they picked defensive lineman Quinnen Williams third overall last month.
"I think his initial quickness and his ability to use his hands, play with leverage, get off blocks quickly," Saban told NFL Network's Andrew Siciliano, according to newyorkjets.com. "He's athletic, so he's a really good pass rusher. He's not a gigantic, huge, overpowering guy, but the rest of it is perfect for this day and age of football."
The 21-year-old Williams, who some scouts believed would be the best prospect in a draft class that also featured Kyler Murray, Nick Bosa and Josh Allen, totaled 19.5 sacks and 71 total tackles last season for the Crimson Tide, which lost in the national championship game to Clemson.
After he went third overall, Williams said he had spoken with Saban throughout the draft process to figure out what he needed to know about making the jump from college to the pros.
"I've called Coach Saban every other day, just to learn from him and learn different things about the NFL," Williams said.
Williams became the ninth Alabama player to be taken in the top 10 since Saban took over. The last one was Amari Cooper (fourth overall, 2015).
Of course, the Jets have picked three Alabama players in the past decade, and none particularly had a successful tenure with New York: QB Greg McElroy (seventh round, 2011), CB Dee Milliner (first round, 2013) and WR ArDarius Stewart (third round 2017). None are still with the Jets.
But Williams won't be the only Saban protege with New York. C.J. Mosley, whom the Jets signed this offseason, was picked 17th overall in 2014, and has been one of the top linebackers in the league.
When it comes to Williams, Saban had nothing but positive words to say.
"I go back to the initial quickness and the use of his hands," he said. "This guy is a really smart, instinctive player. I think sometimes people overlook how that impacts someone's production and his production here was fabulous."