Mel Tucker has had quite the journey through the football coaching ranks.

He spent 9 years in the NFL with the Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars and Chicago Bears, but he has even more experience in the college ranks. In fact, he’s worked under two great coaches: Nick Saban and Kirby Smart.

Tucker worked for Smart at Georgia from 2016-18 after working for Saban in 2015. Tucker also worked for Saban as a graduate assistant at Michigan State from 1997-98 and as a DB coach at LSU in 2000, which is a big reason why he said Saban’s made the biggest impact on his coaching career.

“He laid the foundation for me here in 97 and 98 right here in East Lansing where I got my start,” Tucker told College GameDay. “He really taught me everything. Recruiting, offense, how to run an organization … he’s been a great mentor to me.”

Tucker and Michigan State are currently taking on Michigan for the Paul Bunyan Trophy on FOX. Michigan currently leads 7-0 in the first quarter.