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#CFBTop25: No. 14, Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama

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  • By NFL.com
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Aaron M. Sprecher/Associated Press

Minkah Fitzpatrick, a contributor at Alabama since his freshman year in 2015, is one of college football's most versatile and effective defenders.

He proved in his first two seasons that he can thrive at any position in the secondary -- he's moving from cornerback to safety for 2017. Fitzpatrick is a playmaker, too. He holds the Alabama career record for interceptions returned for touchdowns with four.

The 2016 first-team All-American was selected to the watch lists for the Maxwell and Camp awards, which go to college football's top player. In our 17 for '17 series this summer, Fitzpatrick was ranked fourth on the list of college football defenders who will become NFL stars.

CFB 24/7 is marking the days to the start of the 2017 season by counting down the top 25 players in college football.

Pulling back the curtain on the vote

Fitzpatrick received votes from six of seven CFB 24/7 experts, including one top-five vote. Only one defensive back is ahead of him in the #CFBTop25 countdown. He's the highest-rated player in the countdown from Alabama, which led all schools with four players in the #CFBTop25.

What some of our analysts are saying about Fitzpatrick

"Fitzpatrick has excelled at both cornerback and safety for the Tide. He has the size to match up with bigger wideouts and tight ends and the quickness to mirror smaller pass-catchers." -- Daniel Jeremiah

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"Blue-collar defender with a high IQ and versatile game. Fitzpatrick flashed Pro Bowl potential at any spot in the secondary (corner, nickel and safety), which makes him a 'must have' for teams looking for chameleons in the back end." -- Bucky Brooks

* * *

"Good size and speed. Exactly what you are seeking from a safety. Excellent in run support, makes plenty of plays on the ball (6 INTs in 2016), too. A better tackler now than former Bama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who's now a Pro Bowler with the Packers." -- Charles Davis

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"A versatile defender who can play every position in the secondary, Fitzpatrick will be a leader for Nick Saban's impressive defensive group in 2017." -- Chad Reuter

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"Although Fitzpatrick is effective in any secondary role, it's at cornerback where he gives UA the most value." -- Chase Goodbread

Where do fans rank Fitzpatrick?

We asked Twitter users who they considered the best player in college football. Fitzpatrick is the one player our analysts and the fans agreed on. He received enough support to finish 14th in the fan voting, which is where he lands in the analyst vote, too.

Follow College Football 24/7 on Twitter @NFL_CFB.

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