Josh Frazier is back in Northwest Arkansas, this time with a degree, a ton of football memories and plenty more bling than when he left Springdale Har-Ber five years ago for the University of Alabama.
"Um, let's see," Frazier began when asked how many rings he will have earned as a member of the Alabama football dynasty under Nick Saban. "Four ... five ... seven ... yes, seven. I'll show a few to close, close friends, but I don't want to show them off too much and rub it in."
Frazier was not a star at Alabama. Far from it. He did not start any games, but his participation increased each year and he was a valuable member of the defensive line as a senior. Frazier played in every game and had 15 tackles last season for the Tide, who beat Georgia 26-23 in overtime to win their fifth national championships in the past nine years under Saban.
"He didn't yell at me too much, maybe three or four times," Frazier said. "You can be on good terms with him as long as you don't do something really stupid and get into trouble."
Frazier (6-foot-4, 315) was a top recruit who likely could've played more had he gone anywhere other than Alabama, which piles up 5- and 4-star athletes. But he didn't transfer like so many players today who are stuck on the depth chart, and it paid off his senior year.
He batted down two passes on national TV in the season-opening victory over Florida State. He played significant minutes against Ole Miss and clogged the middle against the run. Against Arkansas, Frazier re-introduced himself to the crowd at Reynolds Razorback Stadium when he burst through the line and dropped a Hog for a 2-yard loss.
"I got friends on Arkansas' team and I was up for the game, 200 percent," Frazier said. "I had some ups and downs at Alabama, but I don't regret a thing that's happened. I didn't really focus too much on the roster at Alabama coming out of high school. I wanted to be coached by the best and that's what I got by going to Alabama. They have great coaches who push you hard and demand you do your job on a consistent basis."
Frazier's future may be in broadcasting after he earned a degree in communications at Alabama. But he's hired an agent and is training in Bentonville for the NFL draft, where he could go in the late rounds or sign as a free agent. That process started two weeks ago when Frazier was selected to play in the Tropical Bowl in Dayton Beach, Fla. The game drew more than 70 NFL and Canadian Football League scouts and Frazier drew praise from analyst Emory Hunt for his combination of strength and quickness on the defensive line.
"I had a good game and had a sack," said Frazier, who was among a handful of former SEC players to play. "The Broncos, the Eagles, Tampa Bay, and the Bills were some of the teams I talked to. It's hard to say where I might go. It just depends on what their needs are."
Frazier was the No. 1 high school recruit in Arkansas in 2014 when he signed with Alabama. While the move disappointed many Razorbacks fans, Frazier has maintained a good relationship with other members of the Class of 2014, including Bijhon Jackson, Juan Day and Jake Hall, his former Har-Ber teammate, who all signed with the Hogs.
Frazier almost lost bragging rights with his friends at the outset when Alabama barely beat Arkansas 14-13 his freshman year. But Alabama won the next three games handily, including a 41-9 victory at Reynolds Razorback Stadium in October.
"They about beat us in 2014 and I wouldn't have been able to live that down," Frazier said. "But this game was special because it was my last time playing in Fayetteville. We got the win and that made it four years in a row, so that was good."
Sports on 01/28/2018
Print Headline: Frazier's back with plenty of bling from Alabama