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He shows no emotion but he still gives the impression that he means business and when it’s time for business, his play does all the talking. His well-mannered demeanor seems to contradict his nastiness on the field.
Joshua Frazier is a defensive tackle for the Alabama Crimson Tide who just finished his senior year with a National Championship. The 6’4″-315 pound young man is originally from Rogers, Arkansas.
Frazier didn’t get involved with football until the eighth grade. “I was bigger and stronger than everybody so it was pretty easy for me,” stated Frazier. The Alabama defensive tackle fell in love with the sport and never stopped.
Frazier was a big fan of former New England Patriots’ and Houston Texans’ defensive tackle Vince Wolfork and studied his play. He figured he wanted to be that dominant force in the middle that controlled the line of scrimmage. “I was 305 [pounds] and I just kept eating everything so I could be big like Vince Wolfork to be a true nose tackle. I was like I am going to just go to buffets so I could get big,” said Frazier.
When it comes to what Frazier takes most pride in, it is his “Ball get off”. His speed off the ball coupled with his power makes it difficult for offensive linemen to handle him from the snap.
His quickness surprises most blockers because of his size and his ability to use his hands gives him an advantage over undersized linemen. “In my early years, I was a pretty good run stopper, now I have good hands and I’m able to control the blocker. I’ve become a better pass rusher,” said Frazier.
Another attribute that stands out is his ability to make plays while being engaged with an offensive lineman. His awareness to put his hands up to bat the ball down although he’s not near the quarterback makes him difficult to defend. Also being able to make tackles while being engaged is one of his strengths.
“I could be big like Vince Wolfork to be a true nose tackle. I was like I am going to just go to buffets so I could get big”
After choosing to play for Alabama, Frazier knew it wouldn’t be a cake walk, yet he was very surprised by the practices and workouts. The hard work that coach Nick Saban and staff expected seemed overbearing at times.
“My freshman year, I wasn’t ready for that,” remembered Frazier.
Playing for the Crimson Tide was an honor but he never took it for granted. “I remember running out the tunnel at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta against West Virginia [Mountaineers] in my first game as a freshman. That’s when it really set in like this is not high school football any more, this is big boy ball,” stated Frazier.
The Arkansas native believed he was fit to not only be a starter but a prolific player in college, but things didn’t turn out the way he expected.
“I was behind big [Da’Ron] Payne and saw him making interceptions and touchdowns. And when I got to college, I visualized myself making those plays,” remembered Frazier.
There were other situations that wasn’t as easy to deal with.
“I tried to transfer a couple of times, I wanted to be with my old coach Bo Davis,” said Frazier. Davis left to be the defensive line coach at Texas-San Antonio. After being told he would start his senior year, he started the first game of the season against the Florida State Seminoles at defensive end which wasn’t his natural position.
From there, he never started again that season. Although wishing he would start again, Frazier played his role and supported the team. Only playing around 15 snaps a game his senior year, Frazier for the most part stayed focused waiting and hoping for his opportunity.
“That’s when it really set in like this is not high school football any more, this is big boy ball”
There were a few people that not only stood in his corner but were inspirational to the NFL prospect. “Coach [Scott] Cochran was always there for me always asking why is this guy not in the game or put Frazier in, even during games,” said Frazier.
Not only Cochran which is the strength and conditioning coach but also coach Davis and of course his mom has always been there and supported him in the good and bad times.
The good times of the senior consist of the two National Championships he won, especially the most recent one. “Winning the National Championship in college is just as good as winning a Super Bowl to me and I have two of them,” said Frazier.
Although his playing time was limited, Frazier prepared for the college playoffs as if he was starting in the game. He made sure he was focused and blocked out anything that could have been a distraction, even if it was a great opportunity.
Frazier had a chance to play in the NFLPA Bowl, an all-star game where seniors showcase their talents for NFL scouts. Because of his dedication to Alabama, he missed his registration deadline and wasn’t able to go.
“I probably could have signed for the NFLPA but I was like I’m going to focus on this National Championship run and worry about all of that stuff when I get done with the season,” mentioned Frazier.
He was then granted the opportunity to attend the Tropical Bowl, another all-star game where seniors get the opportunity to display their talents. The game is held in Daytona Beach, Florida.
After making a strong case in the Tropical Bowl dominating and causing attention to himself, he was able to not only meet with NFL scouts but he received an invitation to this year’s NFL Combine.
Frazier is excited about his future but realizes the hard work ahead of him that is required to get to the next level. He has a plan that he has laid out and feels that everything is going accordingly.
“My goal is to play in the NFL and then be able to turn my communications degree into broadcasting.”