Alabama ready to roll into 2021 season
The Crimson Tide spoke with members of the media on Wednesday about the upcoming season at SEC Media Days.
HOOVER, Ala. (WSFA) - Wednesday was day three of SEC Media Days, and the focus was on the national champions. Alabama is set to start the 2021 season against Miami this September, and the boys of fall are ready to play some football.
“Vacation is over, and the next couple of weeks are going to be back in focus on final preparations for the season and what we need to do to get ready for our Aug. 5 report date,” said head coach Nick Saban.
A return to in-person SEC Media Days was the first step in resuming a regular college football season, so naturally Hoover was a welcomed sight for the Tide.
“You all know this is one of my favorite things to do each and every year. So, I actually have a greater appreciation to be here and to see you again,” said Saban. “We’ve had a really good off-season with our players. I’ve been pleased with the way we sort of transitioned back into normal.”
Things will look a little more familiar, with the 2021 season poised to be like year’s past: full attendance and the usual fanfare on game day at Bryant Denny Stadium, along with the team’s traditional summer workouts.
“I think I’m most excited to take the field with the guys,” said returning wide receiver John Metchie III. “Knowing all the work we put in thus far and all the work we’re going to put in going into camp. It’ll definitely be exciting to finally hit the field and finally get to play.”
“Everybody is coming along. The chemistry is starting to get well, everybody is buying in and doing their job,” added defensive lineman Phidarian Mathis. “No complaining, and I’m just ready to go into my last fall camp with a lot of great guys.”
Despite coming off the best season in program history, the defending national champs are leaving that in the past. Saban said there’s plenty of early challenges to tackle before that first kick.
“The penalty for success when you win a national championship is you won because you had a whole lot of good players,” said Saban. “We’re going to be a work in progress as we focus on improvement, and that’s going to be critical to our success.”
The biggest change to the upcoming fall season: fan attendance. Earlier this summer, Athletic Director Greg Byrne announced full stadium capacity at Bryant Denny, and the players can’t wait to hear the roar of the crowd.
“Yeah man, sheesh, I’m excited for it,” said Metchie III. “I’m definitely excited to get a full stadium again, to have fans back, family, all of that; I’m definitely excited for that.”
“Man, it’s gonna be lit this year. All the fans are going to be back, and we’re gonna get that real Bama standard from the fans also, so it’s going to be very electric,” added Mathis.
Alabama will roll into Tuscaloosa for preseason workouts on Aug. 5 before kicking off the season against Miami in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff on Sept. 4 in Atlanta.
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