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Crimson Spotlight Player Focus: DL Isaiah Buggs

Alicia Devine - Touchdown Alabama Magazine

Fall camps are now in full swing across the college football landscape. Each day we grow closer and closer to the much-hyped clash with Florida State in Atlanta. As the season comes to a head, follow Touchdown Alabama’s new player focus series, ‘Crimson Spotlight’, as we break down each expected starter and their impact on the 2017 season.


Position: Defensive Lineman       Height: 6-5

Number: #49                                  Weight: 293

Class:  Junior                                   2016 Stats: 75 Tackles, 10 TFL, 3.5 Sacks (JUCO)

Alabama’s defensive line has gone under reparations after the exodus of talent from last year’s elite group. Jonathan Allen, Tim Williams, Ryan Anderson, Dalvin Tomlinson – all guys who made major impacts on last year’s D-line – are now playing on Sundays. While some guys that made major impacts last year like Da’Ron Payne and Da’Shawn Hand are still around, Jeremy Pruitt’s defense is going to need some new contributors.

Enter the JUCO transfer, Isaiah Buggs.

At a massive 6-5, 293, Buggs is built to be a tremendous trench defender much like Tomlinson was a year ago. The difference in their games, however, is easy to spot. Tomlinson’s NFL Combine measurements have him at 6-3, 310 pounds – two inches and 17 pounds heavier than Isaiah Buggs. When you see him in person, he looks much slimmer than his weight would imply, something that is largely due his size and weight distrubution. Because of this, it is more likely we will see him at the defensive end position in Nick Saban’s 3-4 defensive scheme like we saw with Jonathan Allen.

Buggs drew rave reviews during spring camp, and again throughout summer workouts. In April’s spring game he was a starter for the first team defense, and looked excellent despite recording no prominent stats. His size allows him to play well against the 6-foot-6 and 6-foot-7 offensive linemen of college football.

At his position, 75 tackles is a difficult task to accomplish – even in the Junior College ranks. Jonathan Allen totaled 69 tackles in his senior campaign, though 16 were for a loss.

While his game relies more on speed than power, he did extraordinary job last year in shedding blockers. His get-off at the line of scrimmage and full-speed-ahead bull rush is eerily reminiscent of last year’s star defensive end. Should his game translate to the next level, as it appears it has, Buggs will be a starter on the defensive line as early as game one. He and Da’Shawn Hand share a lot of similar qualities, and having them bookend the line could become a commodity for the Tide.

Projected 2017 Stats: 60 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks, 2 forced fumbles

Check Out Previous Installments of the Crimson Spotlight Series:

Trevon Diggs

Da’Ron Payne

Bradley Bozeman

Calvin Ridley

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