MOBILE, AL (WLOX) - Two weeks removed from falling to Clemson in the 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship, Alabama & former Mississippi Gulf Coast defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs is back to work on the gridiron. Buggs was one of three Crimson Tide players selected to participate in this years' Senior Bowl, where he’ll be able to showcase his talents in front of NFL scouts and coaches. WLOX was able to catch up with Buggs after day three of practice in Mobile.
“It went well. Each and every day we got better as a unit and I got better as a player," Buggs told WLOX. I put a lot of good stuff out there on film. We just got better. Everybody got better, we have fun out here.”
Buggs, for the last two years, has been playing football at the highest level suiting up for the Alabama Crimson Tide. During his time in Tuscaloosa, Buggs won a national championship (2018), an SEC championship, and was a second-team All-America pick in his senior year, boasting a 27-2 record during his two-year tenure.
“Nick Saban has a great program over there. He got guys that can set you up for the future," Buggs said. Plenty of guys that left come back and they set standards there at Alabama. Me coming in, I had to play a part in those standards, if I don’t, I would be letting those guys that were there before me, I’d be letting them down. It’s just a standard there at Alabama, and Nick Saban, he runs that program really well. So it set me up to come out here, to be a great player so I know how it’s gonna be at the next level. I gotta continue to compete and give it my all.”
Before arriving at the Capstone, Buggs developed into the most sought after junior college player in the country in Perkinston. At Mississippi Gulf Coast, Buggs recorded 75 tackles, including 10 for a loss, and 3.5 sacks as a sophomore in 2016 and notched 59 tackles, including eight for a loss, and four sacks as a freshman in 2015. He was a first team All-MACJC South Division selection in 2015 and 2016 and the No. 1 junior college player in the country according to Rivals, while slated as the top defensive prospect by several other media outlets. It was at MGCCC where he developed a work ethic like none other.
“Being in junior college, I had to pave my way and work hard to end up at Alabama," Buggs told WLOX. It was a great coaching staff, Coach Huff prepared me to be successful. Once I left there, I was already in tuned on how to work, so when I got to Alabama, I just raised it up a notch and worked, and worked, and worked and earned my way on the field because nothing’s given. I just did a great job of working and proving to the coaches they could trust me.”
After a week of practice against other top collegiate stars, Buggs was recognized as one of 10 Practice Players of the Week at the Senior Bowl - winning the best defensive lineman award. He’s projected as a potential second- or third-round pick in several mock drafts, but could rise with a good performance on Saturday.
Buggs will suit up for the South team in the 2019 Senior Bowl that is set to kickoff at 1:30 p.m. central time at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama.