Nick Saban Told 49ers QB Brock Purdy Back In College That He Was Short, Average, & His Arm Was “Whatever”

Nick Saban Brock Purdy
Brock Purdy

Anyone else grappling with inner turmoil as you find yourself rooting for the San Francisco 49ers in this year’s Super Bowl? As the old saying goes, you either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become a villain. If that doesn’t describe the Kansas City Chiefs, I don’t know what does.

We’re only a few years removed from rooting for Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce to take down the then juggernaut Tom Brady teams (New England Patriots in 2019, Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2021), and now there’s been a complete role reversal.

Pretty much everyone in America and across the world that isn’t a Kansas City Chiefs fan is cheering for their downfall, and there’s only one man now that can stop the story of the Chiefs dynasty from growing: Mr. Irrelevant.

Brock Purdy, who was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers with the final pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, has been an underdog story unlike anything the world has ever seen. They call that pick “Mr. Irrelevant” for a reason, and he’s been anything but irrelevant since he took over at QB for San Francisco.

Purdy has always been an underrated player, and that even goes back to his college days when he played for Iowa State. Before he chose the Cyclones to continue his football playing career, Purdy took a visit to Alabama, and it was there where Nick Saban gave him this analysis (right to his face):

“You’re below average in height. Your arm strength is whatever. Your accuracy is average.”

I mean, he’s not exactly wrong…

Now even though Saban didn’t give him a glowing review, Alabama still ended up offering him a small scholarship to join the Crimson Tide. There wasn’t much room in the quarterback room, since Alabama had Tua Tagovailoa, Mac Jones, and Bryce Young at the time, so the fact that Purdy still got a small offer suggests that Saban did see “something” on Purdy’s visit.

Ultimately, he opted to go to Iowa State.

And Purdy definitely has “something” considering he just helped the San Francisco 49ers punch a ticket to Super Bowl LVIII. He and his team overcame a 17-point halftime deficit against the Detroit Fighting Dan Campbell’s Lions, and a lot of the comeback had to do with Purdy extending plays with his legs (something he isn’t necessarily known for) all throughout the game:

So the underdog story continues for Brock Purdy…even though the Kansas City Chiefs inexplicably opened up as underdogs against the 49ers when Super Bowl betting lines first came out. You can’t help but root for a guy who has been called “average” by all-time greats and literally has a nickname that suggests he’s not relevant.

And if he can topple the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl, I think we might as well retire that “Mr. Irrelevant” nickname…

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock