TUSCALOOSA -- ESPN the Magazine recently published an article with in-depth look into the current state of former Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain’s life.
The piece details why, at 24, McClain retired from football and returned to Tuscaloosa. It also describes the relationship McClain has with Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban.
While McClain’s off the field issues are well documented, Saban said “we want to help him every way that we can.”
“We want Ro to make good choices and decisions about what he does in the future,” Saban said. “There’s a guy that has a tremendous amount of potential and tremendous amount of leadership ability to affect other people. We want to help him every way that we can.”
Saban said McClain has enrolled in school at Alabama and “we are encouraging him to graduate,” but the football side of things will be left up to McClain.
“Whatever his choice is about what he wants to do with his football career in the future I think has got to be up to him,” Saban said. “He’s the guy that has to do the work to make that successful for him. His choices and decisions off the field, we certainly would hate any of our players to ever do anything that would affect their ability to be successful in the future.”
McClain was the defensive star of Alabama’s 2009 national championship team. He had 105 total tackles including 14.5 tackles for loss en route to winning the Butkus Award (nation’s top linebacker).
“He did a fantastic job for us here in terms of how he played, how he represented the university as well as the leadership he provided and affected and how he affected many people on our team,” Saban said. “We certainly appreciate that.”Saban also said McClain stopped by and wished him happy birthday and that he “seemed to be doing well and we’re hopeful he’ll continue to do well in the future.”