The Alabama Crimson Tide football program was hit with massive news in January as legendary head football coach Nick Saban announced his retirement after 17 seasons in Tuscaloosa.

His decision sent shockwaves throughout the college football world as the seven-time national champion decided it was time to hang up the whistle and call it a career. Saban’s retirement sent the college football coaching carousel spinning as the Tide replaced the legend with Washington head coach Kalen DeBoer.

Yeah, pretty shocked to be honest. He came and visited me really, like, two or three weeks before. The whole time throughout the process you just never, I just never thought – I mean I figured he’d be close to the end, probably my sophomore or junior year or something like that,” said Alabama signee Amari Jefferson to BamaCentral on the Joe Gaither Show about Saban’s retirement.

“So it was real shocking, just to see him go. I was working out and my weight lifting coach actually came up to me and was like, ‘hey I don’t know if you’ve seen, but there’s reports going out about Saban retiring’. I was just like, no way, this can’t be true. It definitely hurts because me and Coach Saban had a really good relationship. He was really, I’d say, the key piece of why I chose Alabama from the start. So it really did kind of hurt?”

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