When the University of Alabama hired Doug Nussmeier as offensive coordinator in January, it hired a young, up-and-coming coach with a good offensive mind who Crimson Tide head Nick Saban felt could lead the offense.
As an added bonus, it also hired a coach who has a very strong relationship with the nation’s No. 1 quarterback, Max Browne.
Browne, a native of Sammamish, Wash., knew Nussmeier from his days as offensive coordinator at the University of Washington, and the two have remained close since Nussmeier’s move to Tuscaloosa.
“Alabama probably wouldn’t be on the map without Coach Nuss just because that’s a big connection there, but even without him, it’s a great school, obviously, national champions. It doesn’t get better than that,” Browne said.
“One thing Alabama is always going to have over other schools, they’re going to have talent year in and year out. They’re going to have depth and talent at all positions. It’s a big-time program, and they play in the best league in the country.”
Browne, an ESPNU 150 Watch List star who will likely be a five-star when the rankings come out, has numerous offers but says Oklahoma, USC and Washington are the three schools recruiting him the hardest right now. He visited Norman, Ok., earlier this month.
Alabama’s not on that list of schools, but it’s not because the Tide staff is not recruiting the top signal caller.
“Alabama’s still recruiting me,” Browne said. “They just do it differently because I’ve known Coach Nussmeier for so long. It’s not necessarily a matter of recruiting me hard. He’s just a normal guy around me.”
In fact, Browne is scheduled to make the long trip to Tuscaloosa the first week of April, sometime during his spring break. The dates are not set in stone yet, but he expects to spend at least a couple of days on campus.
“I’m excited to see another school,” Browne said. “I’ve never seen an SEC school. Obviously, it’s big-time football. Everyone I’ve talked to said their facilities are top-notch, best in the country. It will be an exciting trip to get know what Alabama is all about. I’m looking forward to it.”
The visit to Alabama could go a long way in helping the Tide secure a commitment from Browne. The main factors he’s looking for when choosing a school include his relationship with the coaching staff and the players, and if he feels comfortable there.
“Are the players who I could see myself being friends with and do I have a good relationship with the coaches? You’ve got to be around both groups of people a lot,” Browne said.
“Also, does it feel right? Recruits say that, and it’s tough to explain, but when you’re there, can you envision yourself wearing that uniform and playing for that coach? It has to feel right.”
Browne doesn’t have any leaders at this point, but the 6-foot-5, 205-pound quarterback hopes to trim his list down soon. He would like to make a decision by the summer, so he can get the recruiting process behind him and focus on his senior year.