Alabama has generated success at strong safety under head coach Nick Saban in recent seasons. Rashad Johnson laid the foundation in 2007, but it was Mark Barron who took it a step forward. Barron collected seven interceptions as a sophomore in 2009. He totaled 12 interception in his career, along with 237 tackles. Vinnie Sunseri and Landon Collins would later follow suit. Collins led Alabama’s defense in tackles last season (103), and tallied three interceptions with seven pass breakups. Barron to Collins was a smooth transition, but true freshman Ronnie Harrison looks to carve his name into the conversation. He’s had a very productive spring.
Harrison, a Florida native, was a consensus four-star prospect upon his arrival to Alabama. He was a two-way player at Florida State University School, seeing action at quarterback and defensive back. Harrison recorded 39 tackles, five pass breakups and two fumble recoveries as a senior in 2014. He accounted for 3,858 passing yards with 23 touchdowns in his career. Harrison showed acceleration as a runner, totaling 1,931 yards and 34 touchdowns.
He’s an early enrollee that has created much buzz on campus. Harrison, standing at 6-foot-3, 218 pounds, has impressed Saban and defensive backs coach Mel Tucker with his exceptional tackling and ball skills. Alabama has some spots open at safety with Landon Collins, Nick Perry and Jarrick Williams all pursuing careers in the National Football League.
Harrison and Laurence “Hootie” Jones both look the part at safety. Harrison showcased his talents in Alabama’s 2015 spring game. He assisted on a tackle and recorded an interception in the fourth quarter. Harrison possesses speed and solid instincts. Defensive backs Geno Smith and Eddie Jackson will see much field time in the fall, but keep your eyes on Harrison in 2015.