Michael Nysewander, Leading the way
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Former Alabama fullback Jalston Fowler was one of the best all-around players under head coach Nick Saban. He displayed versatility as a blocker, runner and pass catcher in his tenure at Alabama (2010-14). Fowler leaves with 738 career rushing yards and five touchdowns. He chimes in with seven touchdown receptions, and guided Alabama’s backs to 206.6 yards per game in 2014. Fowler looks to have a solid career in the National Football League.
Michael Nysewander, a former walk-on, is a product of Hoover High School (Hoover, Ala.). The 6-foot-1, 238-pound Nysewander was featured as a tight end and a defensive lineman. He arrived at Alabama in 2011, and showed consistency as a scout team player.
The Crimson Tide’s surplus at tight end limited Nysewander’s opportunity at playing time early on, but he received a chance last season. He appeared in eight games as a tight end/H-back. Nysewander excelled at blocking and showcased soft hands as a receiver. Alabama’s homecoming game against Western Carolina provided him with his best moment. Nysewander recorded one catch, but it went for a 12-yard touchdown in the third quarterback. Jalston Fowler and running back Derrick Henry both embraced him on the sidelines.
Alabama will have four fullbacks in its rotation in 2015, but Nysewander’s experience gives him the edge as a starter. His touchdown reception last season came off the arm of Jake Coker. Coker was involved more with Alabama’s second team offense in 2014. Nysewander has developed chemistry with Coker, Henry, Kenyan Drake and the offensive line. The Crimson Tide’s backfield returns talent next season. It will be Nysewander’s job to guide them downfield.