A.P. Steadham

Alabama Coach Nick Saban and three as-yet unnamed Tide players will be at SEC Media Days

Bradley Bozeman is senior starter for Alabama offense

Two weeks from today, July 12, Alabama Coach Nick Saban and three Alabama football players will be addressing reporters at Southeastern Conference Media Days. That is the third of four days of the annual gathering, which now attracts upwards of 500 sportswriters and sportscasters, and the Saban presentation will draw the largest crowd.
Sometime before the start of the event, the SEC will announce the attending players.
Journalists would prefer that every team bring its starting quarterback, but there are reasons that doesn’t happen. Some will bring the quarterback only if he is a senior.
Alabama has been known to bring underclassmen, but usually only juniors who are expected to be in their final college seasons. The Tide, of course, often has several of those.
We can get some clue as to which players Saban will have with him based on those players the Crimson Tide coach has made available to reporters in the past, notably during spring practice. Still, it’s a guess as to which may attend.
Our guess — and it is a guess — is that Alabama will have two from the offense and one from the defense. Special teams players — even one as accomplished as upcoming senior punter JK Scott — are rarely included.
There are two offensive linemen who have been regulars in Alabama post-practice media opportunities and one of them will likely be in Hoover for the event.
Look for returning starting center Bradley Bozeman to be there. He’s a senior and he is articulate and pleasant.
If not Bozeman, we would look for three-year starting junior Ross Pierschbacher, who, like Bozeman, is well-spoken and personable.
One possible projected senior starter is wide receiver Rob Foster, while junior wide receiver Calvin Ridley could be one of those projected as in his final college season.
If, however, we are correct in thinking there will be two from the offense and one of them will be a lineman, our guess is that the third will be either sophomore quarterback Jalen Hurts or junior tailback Damien Harris.
Hurts is the returning SEC Offensive Player of the Year, and he has proved to be very comfortable in dealing with the media.
Harris, who led the Tide in rushing last season, handles questions very well.
Continuing with our projection of two from the offense and one from the defense, there are several defenders who rank as possibilities.
Senior Da’Shawn Hand is taking over at a defensive end spot for Alabama’s most decorated player from 2016, Jonathan Allen.
Both inside linebackers are seniors and both Shaun Dion Hamilton and Rashaan Evans are media savvy.
The secondary includes returning senior starter Anthony Averett, a cornerback, and junior safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, a consensus All-America last year and likely to be Bama’s top defensive honoree in preseason.
But we can only pick three.
Our guess is Bozeman, Harris, and Fitzpatrick.


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