Seniors say farewell to Bryant-Denny

By Kelly Ward | Digital Managing Editor

Seniors say farewell to Bryant-Denny

Senior Michael Nysewander remembers a time where football coach Nick Saban didn’t know his name.

When he got to campus his freshman year, he was a walk-on. He set some goals for himself. The first was to get Saban to say his name.

“That was really special because my last name’s kind of hard to pronounce,” Nysewander said. “I think my mom’s dad still can’t even pronounce it very well. So, yeah, it was cool.”

On Saturday, Nysewander and the other seniors on the team will play their last game in Bryant-Denny Stadium.

And it seems like it was only a week ago, they were playing their first.

“I gave a little speech about time on my radio show the other day,” Saban said. “You can't buy it, you can't stop it, you can't bottle it  you just have to do the best you can with it, I guess, and try to make every day count. I look at some of the guys that are seniors on our team, and I'm saying, 'I was in that guy's house, like, two weeks ago,' and the guy is now graduated, played for four years and is ready to graduate, move on and maybe have a career at the next level. It goes by fast for me, too.”

Saturday is the farewell for a class that has an overall record of 45-6 and 27-4 in SEC play. Those seniors have been part of one national championship team (2012) and two SEC Championship teams (2012 and 2014). 

“They've had a lot of success here  probably a little different circumstance than some of the other teams,” Saban said. “The expectation has always been greater for them, and they haven't always been able to finish like we wanted to, but they've shown a lot of resilience and leadership this year to have a chance to create an opportunity for themselves if they can finish this year."

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