Oklahoma football notebook: Bob Stoops describes close relationship with Nick Saban

Stoops said that when Saban was an assistant coach at Michigan State in the 1980s, he recruited Mike and possibly Mark Stoops when they were playing at Cardinal Mooney High School in Youngstown, Ohio.
by Ryan Aber and Jason Kersey Published: December 17, 2013

Bob Stoops described Alabama coach Nick Saban as a “very good friend” Monday, saying their relationship goes back a few decades.

Stoops said that when Saban was an assistant coach at Michigan State in the 1980s, he recruited Mike and possibly Mark Stoops when they were playing at Cardinal Mooney High School in Youngstown, Ohio.

“He would travel through our school and my dad, being an assistant, would be at the school a lot,” Bob Stoops said. “My dad got to know Coach Saban really well. There was a time or two Mark's senior year when he was playing up at Michigan State, Coach Saban and his wife Terry would invite my mother and father and whoever was with them over to his home after the game.”

Bob Stoops also said that when Saban was coaching with the Cleveland Browns, he would go watch the team practice and study its defense.

“That's where it all started,” Stoops said. “Whether we're at different coaches conventions or when we call each other to trade ideas, we've done that. Through the years it has become that way.”

ALEXANDER WITHSTOOD PRESSURE, STAYED COMMITTED TO OU

Linebacker Dominique Alexander has played an important role on Oklahoma's defense this season as a true freshman, and he said sticking with his commitment to OU and trusting its coaches has paid off.

Alexander was originally committed to Arkansas, but switched to OU in November 2012. Several other schools recruited him as a safety.

“The schools that wanted me to play safety were just telling me I could come in and start right away, and that me playing linebacker at OU, I probably wasn't gonna play because they've got that one-linebacker system,” Alexander said. “It's all about trust, and you've just gotta believe your coach.”

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by Ryan Aber
Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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