Kayvon Thibodeaux claims that the “stigmatism” of education in Alabama led him to choose Oregon over Crimson Tide

Kayvon Thibodeaux is soon a millionaire, one of the top-ranked prospects of the NFL 2022 draft, and many expect him not to drop lower than second (unless he is first overall).

When NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell calls Thibodeaux’s name in late April, he will be followed by the words “Defensive End, Oregon.” Thibodeaux eventually chose the Ducks, although he lacked options and offers. This includes Alabama and Nick Saban.

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Thibodeaux – in an interview with Joel Klatt of Fox College Football during Monday’s College Football Playoff Championship – revealed a decisive factor that led him to attend school in Oregon: the “stigmatism” of education in Alabama.

“Do you know the stigma of education in Alabama?” Klatt asked. “It’s not the west coast.”

Thibodeaux, of course, wanted to say “stigma” instead of “stigmatism.” The latter is an incorrect forerunner of “stigma” and “astigmatism” (a common imperfection in the curvature of the eye).

His comments – misused as they were – were prompted by Klatt’s question of what it was like to be recruited by Saban. Thibodeaux said he didn’t like Saban’s recruitment field, which players want to play when they think they’re ready, as opposed to when Saban thinks they’re ready. That moment, Thibodeaux said, led him to think Alabama was not for him.

Klatt then asked Thibodeaux if he knew that each of Saban’s recruiting classes had won the national championship during their time in Tuscaloose. Thibodeaux replied, “And that’s important. Let’s hope everyone still has a job and such.”

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Thibodeaux went on to explain his decision to go to Oregon, saying he wanted to make sure he could have a career outside of football once his playing days were over. To this end, a connection with a brand such as Nike was also important for his future non-football efforts:

“If I gave you a fishing rod, would you know how to use it? If I never learned (fishing) or if school was never important to me, work or career was never important until I was done with football, how would I ever know how to get a career or job? I won’t.

Do you know what I was sitting and thinking about? I sat down and said, what kind of world do I want to be a part of? I said that if I went to Alabama, I would win national championships, literally. But do I want to be a guy who is known as a national championship winner, or do I want to be a guy who is known for being part of the largest organization in the world?

People don’t realize that football is an American sport. So no matter how great Alabama is, you only play football in America, Canada and a few other places. But for a brand like Nike, I think for me it was like what brand associations I want to tie up with? For me, I already hate the stigmatism of football players who are stupid athletes. Do you know the stigma of education in Alabama? It’s not the west coast. It’s not Harvard. “

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In three years in Oregon, Thibodeaux scored 123 tackles, 35.5 tackles for loss, 19 sacks, seven defended passes and three forced fumbles.

Below are his full comments:

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