From the moment Nick Saban’s plane landed in Tuscaloosa on Jan. 3, 2007, the state of Alabama and college football was never the same. A decade and a half has gone by and the Crimson Tide still at the top of mountain because of a standard set by Saban.

Former Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones was a part of Saban’s first full recruiting class in 2008. A class that would also feature Mark Ingram, Mark Barron, Marcell Dareus, Barrett Jones, Dont’a Hightower, Courtney Upshaw and Terrence Cody. Players that etched their name into Alabama history and laid down the foundation for the greatest dynasty in the history of the sport.

Jones spoke recently about what it takes to play for the seven-time national championship winning head coach.

“Look, you got to be accountable, you can have all the talent in the world, but if you’re not gonna listen, you’re not gonna be in the right spot every time and things like that — and to be accountable and to do your job properly — you ain’t gonna play.”

Saban talked last November about his first recruiting.

"I just remember the equipment guy walking out on the field when those guys came to the first practice. He looked at me and he said, "I ain't seen a bunch like that around here in a while.'"

Jones spent three seasons under the guidance of Saban. The former five-star recruit became the first true freshman wide receiver ever to start the season opener for the Crimson Tide. He went on to have a stellar freshman campaign, earning second-team All-SEC and SEC Freshman of the Year honors.

He started all 40 games in his Alabama career, totaling 179 receptions for 2,653 yards and 15 touchdowns. Jones was a part of Alabama’s first national championship team under Saban in 2009. The team that would change the landscape of college football forever.

On draft day, the Atlanta Falcons traded up 21 spots to select the Alabama All-American with the sixth overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Jones went on to have an illustrious career in the NFL. He is a five-time All-Pro and seven-time Pro Bowl selection. Jones has led the league in receiving yards twice and was named to the NFL’s 2010’s All Decade Team. He is currently a free agent.

Alabama would go onto win five more national championships and four players would claim college football’s most prestigious award, the Heisman trophy. The Crimson Tide enter the 2022 season as the odds favorite to win another national championship.

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