SEC Media Days 2022: Jimbo Fisher addresses conflict with Nick Saban
July 23, 2022
Texas A&M Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher gets asked many questions during SEC Media Days every year. This time, he was asked about everything from the suspended running back Ainias Smith, his fast-talking style, to his exchange with Nick Saban.
The first four questions that Fisher was asked were about his confrontation with Alabama's head coach. Moreover, he also discussed about the importance of the recruiting class that Texas A&M was able to secure.
Some people asserted that the May incident between Fisher and Alabama was old news. However, the media members in Atlanta didn't get the memo. Fisher, who had a verbal 180 on his previous statements, didn't explicitly address the issue Thursday.
"Listen, we're great," said Fisher. "Two competitive guys that go at it. We all learn from things we do in our business. Two competitive guys on a topic that is very -- everywhere, as they say. There's no rules in this thing, where it goes."
Fisher, who worked under Saban at Louisiana State and Alabama, said he greatly respected the coach. He also said that he hoped to learn from his former boss' mistakes and move on.
During a World Games event in Birmingham, Alabama, on Thursday, Saban took a break from recruiting to discuss the team's success. The 70-year-old coach said that Texas A&M was the leader in the recruiting game last year as the school was able to secure every player on its roster through a deal involving the players' images and names. An infuriated Fisher had to deliver a statement in just one day.
"We were second in recruiting last year," said Saban. "A&M was first. A&M bought every player on their team. Made a deal for name, image and likeness. We didn't buy one player."
Fisher, who was incensed by the comments made by his former boss, had just one day to respond. In his news conference, he demanded that the media go through the past of his former boss and find out more about him.
"People think that they're God, but some people do things that are just not right. Go through his past and learn more about him," Fisher said.
Alabama, Texas A&M to meet on October 8
The recruiting battle between Alabama and Texas A&M is expected to get suspended for a few months. After reaching the College Football Playoffs last season, the two programs will meet again on October 8. The defending national champion Alabama will be led by quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and a talented group of defensive players, including Will Anderson.
"When we play Texas A&M, everything will be addressed then," Anderson said this week.
The upcoming season will feature a new starting quarterback for Texas A&M and a new group of players on both sides of the ball. The competition between holdover Haynes King, Max Johnson, and former LSU transfer Conner Weigman will determine who will start at the position.
The Class of 2022 is considered one of the country's most talented, but it's reportedly hard to build a championship program around freshmen.
Junior wide receiver Speedy Smith, known for his versatility, might not be able to play in the first few games of the season due to his recent arrest. He was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated and having less than two ounces of marijuana.
Despite the recent developments, Fisher is still excited about the team's direction as it enters its sixth season under him. He considers that the program is still in its early development stages while adding that the team has plenty of talent and will have a competitive environment during practice.