Four Crimson Tide Defenders You’ll See in the NFL

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Tomorrow night’s college football national title game will feature numerous future NFL players on both sides of the ball- especially defense. Here are four Alabama Crimson Tide names you should get to know between now and draft day.

Barron is already widely considered a strong NFL prospect. NFLDraftScout.com, a website that rates current college players based on their NFL potential, rates Barron as the second best safety in his class. The website also projects him going in the late first round of the 2012 NFL draft.

Barron talked about diagnosing the play

“Basically that just comes down to our discipline. You have to read your keys. And usually, once you read your keys, it pretty much tells you what’s going on,” he said.

Courtney Upshaw is considered one of the best pass-rushing outside linebackers of his class and a potential first-round pick in this draft.

Upshaw is most known for his recovery of a Garrett Gilbert fumble on an Eryk Anders sack with just 3:08 remaining in the 2010 BCS National Championship Game, that sealed the title for the Crimson Tide.

In his junior season Upshaw started 11-of-13 games for the Crimson Tide. He accounted for 98 total tackles, 22.5 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, and 9 forced fumbles.In the 2011 Capital One Bowl against Michigan State, Upshaw, once again, proved himself on the big stage.He led the way for the Crimson Tide, who won 49-7, with a pair of sacks, five tackles, including three for a loss as well as forcing an Michigan State fumble, and was voted the game’s MVP.[9]

Josh Chapman served as the backup to All-American Terrence Cody during the 2008 and 2009 seasons, and is currently regarded as one of the better nose guard prospects in his class. Chapman talked about how well and how seriously they take stopping the run.

That’s about being physical up front and basically establishing a new line of scrimmage. And our guys go out and compete every day and want to stop the run. That’s our main goal here, make the team one dimensional,” Chapman said.

Finally, and most prominently there’s Dont’a Hightower, who’s kind of like a real life Alvin Mack from “The Program.” So dominant and so fast and so strong, you should have seen him push LSU’s QB back with such ease. And the Tigers signal caller is a big man himself.

Hightower is considered one of the best inside linebackers of his class. He talked about the dominance of the SEC at media day.

“I feel like the SEC won the national championship the last six years just because I feel like our coaches have a little bit more edge than other conferences. I feel like the players are a little bit more versatile and athletic. We don’t find too many guys that weigh 260 pounds that can run a 4.6 or 4.5 in any other conference or guy that weighs 200 pounds that can bench press 500,” said Hightower.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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