Roman Harper Does Media Days

A football player who can perform as well in interviews as well as he can on the field is increasingly rare in Southeastern Conference football. Crimson Tide senior safety Roman Harper seems to have mastered his talent with the media, holding court at the Wynfrey in Hoover Friday.

"This suits me. It's okay. I have fun with this right here," Harper said. ""It's a whole lot better that what I thought it was going to be… I was in one room I felt like the president, I had 12 of these (microphones) sticking in my face.

"It was great. I feel important. I've got a suit on. I'm the first black President. That's what I felt like."

But what Harper is really after is a TV gig when his football career is over, not the presidency.

"I like to be on TV. First black President, I don't know about that. That's a lot of pressure right there."

In between the one-liners, Harper was positively upbeat about his group for the upcoming season, and he should be. He is one of three three-year starters in the defensive backfield. The other, cornerback Ramzee Robinson, started all last season and a portion of 2003.

"We've all been playing together so long, that's really what's made us so much better," Harper said. "We started off so young and everybody was like ‘y'all are not that great.' We've just grown and kept getting better. That's the real key to it"

"I know what Bino's thinking, I know what Anthony's thinking, and I know what Charlie's going to do before they do it. From a deep safety's perspective I have to see it happening before they can because I'm on the outside looking in."

The defensive backfield has what is a rarity for any Alabama team the past few years, talented back-ups. Simeon Castille was the regular nickelback when healthy and rotated in regularly at corner.

Harper noted a wide array of opinions on his squad.

"I hate to say I read magazines, but I didn't read it somebody told me. One had us first and the other didn't have us ranked. We've got to have a happy medium somewhere."

Jeffrey Dukes also saw some playing time last year, but most of it was on special teams, and his play in the defensive backfield was not noteworthy. Sophomore Marcus Carter played almost exclusively on special teams also. And the Tide picked up Lionel Mitchell, from Hargrave Military mid-year. He is expected to contribute right away.

"Jeffrey Dukes is really stepping up. I think he's been getting two or three picks a day. He's been really hot lately," Harper said. "Chris Keys is playing pretty well. He's getting in the mix a little bit."

Harper was happy that the critics of defensive coordinator Joe Kines have all but gone away.

"The first year or so everybody was trying to bark down coach Kines and stuff like that. I'm so glad he stayed. He's been an inspiration to all of us. He helps us out. He's probably the best inspirational pre-game talker I've ever heard in my life. He comes up with amazing things. He's just a great guy. He does so much for us and we really appreciate him."

Lastly, Harper was asked about who on offense has stood out in pass skel drills this summer.

"Brodie. He's back. He's back. His arm is lively. Tyrone Prothro's been making a lot of great plays. He's really quick. It seems like he's faster now."

"And my boy Travis (McCall), from Prattville."

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