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Nick Saban, Alabama to honor accomplished senior class versus Auburn

Marvin Gentry - USA TODAY Sports

It will be a very special senior day inside Bryant-Denny Stadium this week, as head coach Nick Saban spoke proudly of the class at his presser on Wednesday.  

Whether they arrived as freshmen (2014 or 2015) or transferred in, nineteen young men will be honored in front of screaming fans prior to the Iron Bowl.

For a group that consists of Damien Harris, Isaiah Buggs, Christian Miller, Ross Pierschbacher, Derek Kief, Jamey Mosley and Ronnie Clark among others, having a 52-3 record with two national titles is a great achievement. 

“It is an honor and a privilege to recognize the 19 seniors we have on senior day,” Saban said in his opening statement. “They have all made a great contribution to the program and I think they have represented our team in a first-class way.” 

Upon being asked on the joy of being with the families of senior players in their last game at Bryant-Denny, Saban almost choked up a little but the 67-year-old held his composure. 

“When you think back and I think about all the great players that we had here, and not just those who were All-Americans and got special awards… but I’m talking about the ones who are great people regardless to what their contribution was on the field,” he said. 

“Their contribution to the team and the program and in some cases what it continues to be is pretty special. It goes so fast. I remember the home visit and how the home visit seems like it was yesterday, and now guys are graduating. That makes me proud that guys get their degree.” 

Since beginning a journey with Alabama and its fans in 2007, Saban has always been about more than football. He certainly wants to win by all means necessary; however, the heart of him wants to see young men leave an area better than when they entered.  

“When you see guys grow and develop personally, academically and also some of the lessons they learn competing on the field, it does make me proud of them and it makes me feel like they will have a much better chance of being successful because they were involved in the program,” Saban said.  

According to Saban, all 19 seniors – walk-ons included – have either earned a degree or on track to obtaining one.

They will encounter a very emotional moment on Saturday.

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 @CoachingMSmith.

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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