Lance Thompson’s back at Alabama and his rehab begins with this piece by Kevin Scarbinsky.
Why did Nick Saban welcome Thompson back so quickly after Sal Sunseri left for Tennessee? Scarbinsky’s take:
The insider laughed and answered with a series of names: Julio Jones. Mark Barron. Trent Richardson. D.J. Fluker. Robert Lester. AJ McCarron. He could’ve continued, but he’d made his point. Thompson was a key factor in Alabama signing every one of them and more.
Thompson is one of the most proven recruiters in the SEC in the last decade. He played a major role in Alabama signing the 2008 and 2009 classes that were ranked No. 1 in the country and formed the heart of the 2009 and 2011 BCS championship teams.
Sunseri did some serious recruiting himself as Thompson’s replacement. Saban, for all of his own expertise in that area, values that skill in his assistants so it was important to replace Sunseri with someone who knew the territory.
I think a lot of folks assume Saban made the first call to Thompson, but I wouldn’t be so sure about that:
Truth be told, people close to him say, Thompson wishes he’d never left Alabama three years ago.
It’s been internet fodder for a while now that Thompson uber-regretted his decision to leave Bama and head to Knoxville. I’m guessing there was a good bit of truth to that rumor and Thompson probably hit the speed dial to Saban when heard the Sunseri news.
As far as Thompson’s snarky comments made after leaving for UT, I’m sure he cleared that up a long time ago when he saw how things were headed in Knoxville.