It's June, it's starting to get hot, and we have A LOT of time before college football starts. So, to help you stay indoors and pass the time three minutes at a time, I'm bringing back one of America's least recognized segments, Get To Know Your SEC Football Players.
For the uninformed, this is where I randomly select an SEC team and a number between 1 and 99, then do a profile of sorts of the player on that team who wears that number. This way, when the featured player succeeds, fails, or is shown milling around in the background of a TV shot, you'll know that his greatest off-the-field accomplishment involves the sale and transportation of hobos. Or in the case of Arkansas players, stolen laptops.
Mostly, we'll be dealing with people who never play, but sometimes we get lucky and get to talk about a starter. A couple of rules I follow for this elaborate process, no team will be selected twice until all teams have been chosen once and how I go about that selection is none of your business.
So with that, let's meet our first selection of 2012.
#28 Dee Milliner, DB, Alabama
Some background information
You would find it not shocking at all to learn that a defensive recruit for Alabama was rated by recruiting websites as having ALL THE STARS (or my proposed Cameron Poe Roundhouse Kicks To The Face), which Milliner was. And, you would not find it shocking at all to learn that a true freshman defensive player could contribute to the Alabama defense, which Milliner did, earning various Freshman All-American honors and such.
As a Nick Saban defensive back, Milliner has been programed to do exactly what the system requires that he do and any free will he might have had has been destroyed. As Saban always says, "The way we teach it is perfect and your dumbass better not listen to your dumbass." To be fair, he's never actually said that.
Greatest on-field accomplishment
As pictured above, his fourth quarter, 35-yard interception returned for a touchdown against Auburn this past season, which put the game out of reach. Well, that's kind of a lie. The game was pretty much out of reach when Clint Moseley jogged onto the field.
Greatest off-the-field accomplishment
Not selling his textbooks for cash, which tends to be a problem at Alabama.
Way(s) in which he embarrassed himself, his family, team, and school
Thus far, Milliner has kept himself on the straight and narrow, but he's probably done something, AMIRITE AUBURN MESSAGE BOARDERS?
Size, coached by Nick Saban, experience, and gets to play Ole Miss.
I mainly pretend to know anything about Alabama's defensive back rotation, but it should be noted that Milliner has mostly played as a nickel and/or dime DB, and has not regularly faced an opponent's top receiver, so his cover skills aren't fully known. That probably has more to do with Dre Kirkpatrick and DeQuan Menzie being ahead of him the last two years, but a minor point I bring up because I really don't have anything to say here.
What to expect in 2012
With the departure of Kirkpatrick and Menzie, Milliner will most likely start every game (barring textbook sales, of course) and earn all sorts of awards, as defensive players from Alabama usually do. So, when you're watching Alabama this year, you can expect to see Milliner on the field, receiving a yelling by Saban, and being jumped upon by Kirby Smart after a big third down stop.
Get more great analysis over at Belly of the Beast.