Alabama’s ability to keep producing high-quality centers has been impressive during Nick Saban’s time in Tuscaloosa. Whether it was Antoine Caldwell, William Vlachos, Barrett Jones or Ryan Kelly, the Tide has fielded one of the best centers in the conference each and every season since 2007.
Redshirt senior Bradley Bozeman is no different.
Crimson Spotlight #5: Bradley Bozeman
Position: Offensive center
Classification: RS Senior
Weight: 314 pounds
2016 Stats: 15 starts
Player Summary: As of right now, Bozeman sits at No. 7 on Matt Miller’s (draft analyst for Bleach Report) list of the top centers available for the 2018 NFL Draft. It’s entirely possible for him to climb that list, however.
Since stepping into the starting lineup following the departure of Ryan Kelly — the No. 17 overall pick by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2016 NFL Draft — Bozeman has continued to bring the center position consistent, effective production. Of all the offensive positions, center might be the most undervalued. That doesn’t mean that Bozeman hasn’t made his presence felt, however.
The Roanoke, Ala., native has prototypical size for an SEC center — standing at 6-5, 314 pounds. While he is limited athletically, Bozeman does, for the most part, maximize his physical attributes to create movement in the run game. Earlier this month, Bozeman proved his strength by throwing up over 500 lbs. on his bench press.
There are areas where Bozeman can improve, however. When he gets into any kind of space, whether it be on a screen pass or working his way to the second level of the defense, that’s when Bozeman’s lack of athleticism is on display the most. He whiffs on blocks from time-to-time, and he sometimes puts himself out of position to get premium leverage against the opposing defender.
Even still, Bozeman has constantly shown the ability to overcome. He came in as only a 3-star prospect back in 2013, and after redshirting his freshman season, Bozeman earned significant playing time in each of the new two seasons before taking over as the full-time starter at center last year.
If he can show improved athleticism this season, Bozeman has a chance to be an NFL caliber center.
2017 Predictions: Bozeman will start every game at center, and he’ll be one of the top players at his position in the 2018 NFL Draft.