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Here comes the Boom: Fitzpatrick looks to lead a fierce secondary unit

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Alright Tide fans, picture this in your head: If you were a wide receiver for the opposing team and you went up against Hootie Jones, Ronnie Harrison and Minkah Fitzpatrick after doing a post and slant pattern, who’d you say is most physical out of the three?

If any of you answered all three, you’re correct. If you answered Fitzpatrick, you are still correct.

This upcoming season is going to be one for the ages. All eyes will be on the junior defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick, who made a name for himself last season filling in for Eddie Jackson at safety. He started in Alabama’s nickel and dime defense at star in both 2015 and 2016, before switching against Texas A&M.

Lets just say that Fitzpatrick is true gem and miracle for this team.

He excelled so much a season ago that opposing fan bases took notice. The New Jersey native tied a single-game school record in 2016, when he intercepted three passes versus Arkansas and returned one for a score.

After setting the Tide’s all-time record for pick-sixes (four), Fitzpatrick earned first team All-American honors from the Associated Press, American Football Coaches Association and Pro Football Focus. He finished the 2016 season with 66 tackles, five tackles for loss, seven pass breakups and a team-high six interceptions.

For anyone who’s been keeping an eye on Fitzpatrick, he’s like “The Flash” playing football.

He’s seems to be in the right spot to make a play. Though head coach Nick Saban does’t like overloading his star players with responsibilities, Fitzpatrick’s diversity makes this defense special.

The junior is already projected to be a high first round pick in next year’s NFL Draft. Not only that, football experts believe this will be Fitzpatrick’s final season, and Alabama fans should enjoy watching him this year.

Fitzpatrick expects to captain the Tide’s secondary in the fall.

At 6-foot-1 and 201 pounds, he possess it all. Fitzpatrick has the size, hands and speed to deal with receivers, while having the instincts and tackling abilities in run support. With Fitzpatrick, Ronnie Harrison, Hootie Jones, Anthony Averett, Tony Brown and other returning, this is going to be one heck of a show to watch.

In the words of former NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens, “Get yo popcorn ready!”

Michael Cannady is an intern for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter at: @mikecan_21

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