Saban is the most well-known member of this group. Ferentz is now at Iowa. Hill is at Fresno State. Groh is Georgia Tech’s defensive coordinator. Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, an assistant of Saban’s at LSU and with the Dolphins, has built a meaningful relationship with Belichick, too, as have Florida coach Urban Meyer and Rutgers coach Greg Schiano. And so on.
Plenty of players from those programs, and others Belichick is connected to, will be on the Patriots’ radar as the NFL conducts its draft in the next three days. In a process so marked by uncertainty, there is comfort for him in that.