Florida State offensive line coach Rick Trickett remembers watching Alabama’s Nick Saban play as a high school quarterback in West Virginia before they eventually became friends.

When Trickett moved back to his home state in 1966 after living in Alabama, he saw Saban shine as a sophomore leading Monongah High School against Masontown Valley High.

“He was a good, little player,” said Trickett, who is 69, four years older than Saban. “He had some great players around him, though. He had two running backs that could’ve played for anybody in the country. But he was a good player.”

Roughly 12 years later, they became position coaches at West Virginia University. Trickett coached the defensive line for two seasons before Saban joined for the 1978 and 1979 seasons to coach the defensive backs. Trickett later changed to offensive line, and has coached the position ever since.

Trickett later met Jimbo Fisher, now Florida State’s head coach, on an airplane ride they shared in 1993 before interviewing and spending six seasons coaching together under Terry Bowden at Auburn.

As Saban was forming his new coaching staff at LSU after being hired away from Michigan State in 1999, he needed an offensive coordinator and sought advice from an old friend.

“I was the one who introduced Jimbo,” Trickett said.

Saban, Fisher and Trickett only coached together for their first season at LSU before Trickett moved back to West Virginia to rejoin the Mountaineers. But their friendship remains strong whenever they reconnect.

On Sept. 2, FSU and Alabama will open the 2017 season in Atlanta.

It will be the first matchup for both teams since FSU beat Alabama 21-14 in Jacksonville on Sept. 29, 2007, during Saban’s first season and Fisher’s first as an offensive coordinator for Bobby Bowden.

In the highly anticipated

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