Alabama linebacker Rashaan Evans will have many memories from his time with the Crimson Tide. One of his favorites was before it truly began with Alabama coach Nick Saban and Georgia coach Kirby Smart, then the Tides' defensive coordinator, at his home convincing him to come to Alabama.
"That was definitely one of those great moments," Evans said.
Saban and Evans will go against the former Tide coordinator on Monday night for the national title.
Evans was a highly regarded linebacking prospect out of Auburn, Alabama, and said having coach and assistant together was special.
"That was a great duo right there," Evans said. "Just the fact that I had both of those guys, really see the type of person they are."
Evans said he got to see past the exterior, public personas of both to see whip-smart coaches with senses of humor. "That was special," he said.
And Saban and Smart certainly brought out the best in Evans. He had both Alabama sacks two seasons ago in the Crimson Tide's national championship win over Clemson.
Then, with Smart off to Georgia, Evans led Alabama with 11 tackles in last year's title-game loss to Clemson.
Evans sensed while Smart was directing Alabama's defense the coordinator would be a success as a head coach. "They're very aggressive at play-calling, and very smart as far as being able to put guys in the right place to be successful," he said. "I think that's why Kirby is having so much success."
Evans can't wait to see Smart after the game. "I'll probably give him a hug and tell him I definitely miss him and thank him for all the time he gave me," he said.