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Alabama football: DB Tony Brown pursues starting role for next season

Tony Brown (#2) celebrates big play for Alabama's defense in 2016 versus Washington
Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

One of Alabama’s defensive stars can leave it all on the field in the upcoming season.

When he returned to the lineup after a four-game suspension last year, Tony Brown was all business. The five-star cornerback racked up 32 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and two interceptions through 11 games, including one versus Florida in a 54-16 win for the Crimson Tide in Southeastern Conference Championship Game.

After not earning a start throughout 2015, Brown was first on the field against LSU, Mississippi State, Florida, Washington and Clemson. He had a significant impact on the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, recording five tackles (1.5 for loss) and half a sack. With Marlon Humphrey headed to the National Football League and Minkah Fitzpatrick moving to corner, an opening at “star” in the Tide’s nickel and dime formations has occurred.

Like Fitzpatrick, Brown has seen action at corner, star and safety – displaying his own versatility.

Following the team’s first spring practice last week, head coach Nick Saban told the media that Brown has been working at both corner and star. Listed at 6-feet and 198 pounds, the native Texan is both physical and fast.

He’s put in a sub 4.4 time in the 40-yard dash in spring testing for a third straight year, topping out at 4.38 seconds. Brown accounts for 58 tackles and two picks in 37 games, while being a true enforcer on special teams (16 career stops). He’s played a lot of football in Tuscaloosa and as of this fall, Saban may entrust a lot more to Brown.

Stephen M. Smith is a managing editor and columnist for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @Smsmith_TDALMag.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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