Friday, August 19, 2011
The SEC's best 25 players: No. 7
By ESPN.com staff ESPN.com
For the second straight day in our countdown, we feature somebody from Alabama's team, this time on defense in what should be a deep and talented secondary for the Crimson Tide:
No. 7: Mark Barron, S, Alabama
Mark Barron was named a first-team All-American last season.
2010 numbers: Barron made 12 starts at safety last season and is a two-time first-team All-SEC selection. He earned first-team All-America honors last season from the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) after leading the Crimson Tide with 75 total tackles. He also had three interceptions and has 10 for his career.
Most recent ranking: No. 18 in the 2010 postseason countdown.
Making the case for Barron: When you start listing the best safeties in college football, Barron is right there at the top. He probably would have turned pro following last season had he not suffered a torn pectoral muscle in the regular-season finale against Auburn. Barron still thought long and hard about it and would have been one of the top handful of safeties taken, but he decided to come back for his senior season. At 6-foot-2 and 218 pounds, he's one of the best all-around athletes in the SEC. He has great size, speed and hitting ability and is a human wrecking ball in that Alabama secondary. He's the guy who makes things go back there, and with the talent and added experience the Tide will have in their defensive backfield this season, Barron is poised for a monster season. He and Robert Lester will form one of the top safety duos in the country.