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Alabama defensive end Isaiah Buggs announces his return to school for next season

Alabama DE Isaiah Buggs (No. 49) celebrates sack in 2017 game versus Ole Miss at Bryant-Denny Stadium: Alicia Devine - Touchdown Alabama Magazine

In 11 seasons, head coach Nick Saban has produced quite a few junior college defensive players into being prospects for the National Football League.

Former standouts Terrence Cody, Quinton Dial, Jarran Reed, Jesse Williams and D.J. Pettway all fit the bill; however, the next man in line has the potential to be better than those guys – especially with him returning for his senior year. 

Landing Isaiah Buggs for the 2017 signing class was huge for depth purposes, but after seeing what he can do as a player and with Alabama football losing Da’Shawn Hand, the Louisiana native stands as a critical piece moving forward in the school’s championship quest for next fall. 

A product of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Buggs announced this morning via social media that he will return to Tuscaloosa for his senior season. The 6-foot-3, 295-pound defensive end totaled 51 tackles, including four tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks in 14 games. 

While his output in tackles was good for seventh on the team, his seven quarterback hurries tied with him with Rashaan Evans (second on roster).

Buggs collected a few marquee performances, but his efforts versus Texas A&M, Tennessee, Clemson and Georgia were all tone setters. 

He chimed in with 17 tackles combined against the Aggies and Volunteers – including a career-high 10 tackles versus Texas A&M in a 27-19 win for Alabama at Kyle Field. Buggs turned in eight stops in the College Football Playoff, with five tackles against Georgia in Monday’s national championship game. He was one of five players that affected Clemson’s quarterback Kelly Bryant in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, notching one of five sacks in the Tide’s 24-6 win. 

The return of Buggs with Raekwon Davis, Quinnen Williams and LaBryan Ray makes the Crimson Tide very dangerous on the edge next season.  

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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