In a rare radio interview, Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart was candid as he always is.

Speaking with “The Front Row,” a morning radio show on Atlanta’s 680 The Fan, Smart was asked who were the three best players he’s coached during his time with the Crimson Tide.

First, Smart named defensive lineman Marcell Dareus. Smart noted that Dareus didn’t have as big of an impact as other players, but said he’s “as talented of a big man I’ve ever been around.”

Next was linebacker Dont’a Hightower, who Smart touted for his ability to do nearly everything from the linebacker position.

Defensive backs HaHa Clinton-Dix and Javier Arenas were next.

Smart has been at Alabama since 2007 so he definitely knows his defensive players better than anyone else.

You can’t go wrong with any of the players Smart mentioned.

But there are a few notables that he left off: Rolando McClain, Mark Barron and C.J. Mosley are a few that jump out. All had major impacts on the program and had great individual careers.

If nothing else, this definitely makes for interesting conversation and banter.

Give me McClain from 2009. Who would you take number one?

Sports Writer Marq Burnett: On Twitter @Marq_Burnett.