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Saban vents over criticism of Alabama RB Richardson

Nick Saban has built a NFL factory at Alabama, with as many as five Crimson Tide players set to go in the first round of Thursday's NFL draft.

One of those players is Trent Richardson, the dynamic running back former Indianapolis Colts general manager Bill Polian labeled as potentially the best player on the board.

Still, this is the NFL draft, an event that includes an interminable walk-up that spares no one from criticism. Robert Griffin IIIis selfish. Matt Kalil has a sense of entitlement. Andrew Luck has a noodle arm. The indignity never ends.

Saban is a football lifer, but he still hasn't gotten used to "whack-a-prospect," to borrow a phrase from our Gregg Rosenthal.

"I think one of the worst things about the draft now is how everybody gets beat up," Saban told ESPN Radio (via "Trent Richardson is the finest guy that I have ever been associated as a coach, in terms of a person -- forget about a football player.

"I mean, I don't know how anybody drafts anybody," he went on. "There's so much information out there, how do you get the right information?"

Saban even goes to the seemingly bottomless "(Insert name here) can have my daughter!" well.

"I'm just saying, your daughter's dating him and you love him," he said. "I mean, that's how he is, and some team called (me) the other day and said, 'Can you explain to us? They say Trent used to hang around the wrong people.' I say, 'Where in the heck did that come from?' "

Saban's frustration is understandable. He actually knows the kid, as opposed to the strangers who rely on speculation and fourth-hand information to craft crooked narratives.

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