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Four Alabama players named to Associated Press midseason All-America Team

Levi Wallace returns an interception for a touchdown for Alabama versus Ole Miss in 2017
John David Mercer - USA TODAY Sports

TUSCALOOSA, Ala.– As we enter week eight of the college football season, more teams are starting to separate themselves from the pack when it comes to the College Football Playoff. 

Excluding that from the conversation for a moment, the Associated Press decided to unveil its midseason All-America Team on Tuesday – a list that included four Alabama players 

Defensive backs Minkah Fitzpatrick and Levi Wallace along with defensive lineman Da’Ron Payne and offensive lineman Bradley Bozeman all were named. While Fitzpatrick and Wallace garnered first-team recognition, Payne and Bozeman made the list as second-team selections. 

Fitzpatrick, a first-year starter at safety, has exemplified excellence in three seasons for the Crimson Tide when it comes to his versatility. The junior from New Jersey has been dominate at cornerback, safety, star (nickel) and money (dime). He holds a school record of four pick-sixes (career), and has an interception this season – which came against Texas A&M at Kyle Field. 

Fitzpatrick has 32 tackles, including 4.5 for loss and a sack. 

Wallace, a former walk-on, has held his own as a first-year starter. He leads the team in both interceptions (three) and pass breakups (nine), while posting 17 total tackles. 

According to a graphic from Pro Football Focus, the Arizona native is first among draft-eligible cornerbacks in passer rating when being targeted. Aside from a two-yard touchdown reception from Christian Kirk, Wallace has not allowed a quarterback to throw on him for a score. 

Payne, a junior, has cemented himself as a premiere defensive tackle.

He’s totaled 29 stops on the year, while sharing a tackle for loss, a sack and having three quarterback hurries.

Behind Payne, Alabama’s defensive front has allowed 57.1 yards rushing a game and two touchdowns. 

Bozeman, a redshirt senior, is in his second year at center. He’s cleared the way for 42.7 points, 302.6 rushing yards, 485 total yards and a red zone efficiency of 92 percent. Bozeman has assisted running back Damien Harris to a special junior season, as he chimes in with 625 yards rushing and nine touchdowns – both are good for third in the Southeastern Conference.  

He’s also protected quarterback Jalen Hurts into accounting for 1,573 yards offensively (1,025 passing, 558 rushing) with 14 total scores to one interception through seven games. 

All four players look to guide the Tide to a win over Tennessee this week. 

Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer 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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