Nick Saban recruits football players. He realizes the talent they have at the high school level and has the foresight to know that their skills will translate well into the college game.
He then takes that often raw talent and molds it into a football-playing, winning machine. Because of this, many of his recruits find their way to the NFL where they reap the rewards of their endless effort and dedication to their craft.
Right now, former Alabama talent is dispersed throughout the NFL. Before the 2012 version of the Crimson Tide gets into the real meat and potatoes of its schedule this weekend, it feels like a good time to check in on how some of Alabama's former stars are getting along on Sundays.
Mark Anderson, Buffalo Bills DE
Anderson has 12 tackles and one sack on the season, along with a deflected pass for the Bills. He had a season-best four tackles against Cleveland and is in his seventh season in the NFL, his first in Buffalo.
Javier Arenas, Kansas City Chiefs DB
In his third year with the Chiefs, Arenas has eight tackles and one pass deflection this season. As a kick returner, he is averaging 19.7 yards. He is also averaging 9.5 yards on 16 punt returns with a long of 24 yards.
Mark Barron, Tampa Bay Buccaneers S
The rookie safety has already tallied 42 tackles this season, defended seven passes and has one interception. In his second career game against the Giants, Barron had 10 tackles and two pass breakups.
Roman Harper, New Orleans Saints S
Harper is playing his seventh NFL season, all for the Saints. In 2012, Harper 43 tackles, one interception and five passes defended. He is pacing to top his career-high in tackles (102).
Dont'a Hightower, New England Patriots LB
Another rookie, Hightower has already picked up 34 tackles and a pair of sacks for the Patriots. Last week against the Jets he had a career-high of seven tackles and a sack.
Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints RB
The Heisman winner has struggled for playing time this season, gaining just 127 yards on 44 carries and scoring one touchdown. He has also caught one pass for 13 yards, but has only seen action in three games.
Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons WR
Now in his second year in Atlanta, Jones has already caught 30 passes for 376 yards and four touchdowns. In the season opener at Kansas City, Julio had six catches for 108 yards and a pair of scores.
Rolando McClain, Oakland Raiders LB
In his third season with the Raiders, McClain has recorded 32 tackles with a season-high of nine against the Steelers.
Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns RB
Another rookie, Richardson has battled through injuries to rack up 348 yards and four touchdowns already. He has also caught 24 passes for 197 yards and another score. In just his second career game, Trent totaled 145 yards and two scores against Cincinnati.
Courtney Upshaw, Baltimore Ravens LB
The Baltimore rookie has already been credited for 29 tackles and a half-sack in just seven career games. He has hit a career-high of six tackles twice now.
Alabama entered the 2012 season with 28 players listed on active NFL rosters. With Saban in control of the football program, this list is bound to continue growing with each season. In the process, Saban has the Tide rolling high once again and BCS championship dreams continue to become more of a reality with every passing Saturday.
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