April 13, 2011 2:17:00 PM
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The University of Alabama will add more history to campus on Saturday when a statue of Nick Saban is unveiled beside likenesses of other Crimson Tide football coaches who won national titles.
The 9-foot bronze statue will be revealed at the annual A-Day spring scrimmage. Saban''s statue will stand in a plaza outside the football stadium near statues of Paul W. "Bear" Bryant, Gene Stallings, Wallace Wade and Frank Thomas.
Athletic director Mal Moore said the statue is "a fitting tribute to the accomplishments of our entire football program under his leadership." The statue depicts Saban in game gear, clapping his hands in encouragement, rather than formally standing in a suit like other statues on campus.
The statue was designed by Alabama student and artist Jeremy Davis of West Blocton, who still hasn''t seen the finished product.
"I didn''t know that any opportunity like this would ever come my way," said Davis, 27.
The athletic department commissioned Davis to do the statue. Davis quickly got to work, making several sketches of Saban in the pose the department had chosen.
Once the final sketch was approved, Davis began sculpting the 3-foot sculpture that the 9-foot statue would be cast from. The mold of the sculpture was shipped to MTM Recognition, an awards manufacturing company in Oklahoma, where it underwent an expansion process involving a 3D scanner and was cast in bronze.
While Davis might not have expected to create such a high-profile work of art, relatives always expected big things from him.
"From a young age I knew he was very, very talented, especially without taking any classes growing up," said Davis'' mother, Wanda Brewer. "When he was about 3 years old, he drew a squirrel on a stump. After that, every time we went somewhere, he brought his pencils and papers with him."
The unveiling of the statue will be shown live on video screens inside Bryant-Denny Stadium.