Alabama football takes much pride in its players tackling the books and earning degrees. Of the four teams in the College Football Playoff – all of which are well above average – none has a higher graduation rate than the Crimson Tide, 86 per cent.
That figure is not going to be hurt by the 2015 Alabama football team. In recent years, no team has had more graduates playing in major bowl games than has Coach Nick Saban’s Bama. This year when the Tide takes on Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 31 there will be 29 Alabama players who already have their degrees, the most in the Saban era.
Football players earning bachelor’s degrees are:
Kenyan Drake, Reggie Ragland, Cyrus Jones, Jarran Reed, Alphonse Taylor, Dominick Jackson, Ryan Anderson, Dakota Ball, Parker Barrineau, Denzel Devall, Ty Flournoy-Smith, Brandon Greene, Bernel Jones, Korren Kirven, Darren Lake, Dillon Lee, Alec Morris, Michael Nysewander, Geno Matias-Smith, and Dalvin Tomlinson.
A total of 31 Crimson Tide student-athletes are slated to earn degrees during The University’s commencement weekend.
NCAA discus champion Hayden Reed (track and field) along with Academic All-Americas Emily Zabor (women’s tennis) and Merel van Dongen (soccer) earned their degrees during the fall semester. In addition to being an Academic All-America, Zabor also earned back-to-back NCAA Elite 89 Awards as the student-athlete at the final site of an NCAA Championship with the highest cumulative grade point average. Reed, in his third competitive season, will begin work on his second degree during the spring semester.
Others slated to graduate are Leslie Jury (softball), Andrew Goodwin (men’s tennis), Laura Steiner (volleyball), and Kyri Tabor (track and field). Former baseball player Paul Phillips also earned his degree this semester following a career in Major League Baseball.
There will be two graduation ceremonies in Coleman Coliseum. Students from the Culverhouse College of Commerce, College of Communication & Information Sciences, College of Engineering, and School of Social Work will participate in the 9 a.m. CST ceremony, while students from the College of Arts & Sciences, College of Education, College of Human Environmental Sciences, and Capstone College of Nursing will participate in the afternoon ceremony at 1:30 p.m. CST.