Alabama football countdown to kickoff: 70 days
If you can believe it, we are officially at the 70-day mark until Alabama is back on a live-game football field. After coming up short in the national championship game against Georgia back in early January, the Crimson Tide will once again be searching for its seventh title under Nick Saban.
This year’s season opener will be against the Utah State Aggies on Sept. 3 at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
With today being June 25, that means we are only 70 days away from the return of Alabama football. The team here at BamaOn3 is ready to celebrate every day of the countdown standing between now and the start of football season. Let’s focus on a player — both past and present — who represents — or has represented — the No. 70.
*Note: BamaOn3 is also doing a Countdown to Fall Camp, which is only 41 days away.
Who currently wears the No. 70?
This will be the second season that Javion Cohen has worn the No. 70 for Alabama.
He started off his career wearing the No. 57, but switched after the departure of Alex Leatherwood, who wore the No. 70 from 2017-20. The number has been fairly popular amongst starting offensive lineman, and Cohen has continued to carry that torch.
The Phenix City (Ala.) native started all 15 games at left guard for the Crimson Tide last season. He wasn’t perfect, but Matt Zenitz reported last week that NFL scouts view Cohen as Alabama’s top offensive lineman. Considering all the other talent on the roster, that’s an impressive feat.
Overall, Cohen is a serviceable run blocker with enough upside to believe that he can eventually be a balanced interior lineman with few weaknesses. Last season, he went 628 pass blocking snaps without allowing a sack. That number led the nation according to a tweet from Pro Football Focus.
Who’s a noteworthy former player to wear it?
In addition to Leatherwood and Cohen, the Nick Saban era has also included Ryan Kelly rocking the No. 70. He arrived in Tuscaloosa in 2011, and after redshirting during his freshman season, he slowly started to see his role expand. By 2013, he was the starting center and never looked back.
Kelly was a good player throughout his career, but it wasn’t until 2015 that the Ohio native finally got the recognition he’d long deserved. That season, he won the Rimington and Jacobs Blocking Trophy while also being a unanimous All-American and first-team All-SEC selection.
Following his career at Alabama, the Colts selected Kelly in the first round (No. 18 overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft. He immediately became the starting center, starting all 16 regular season games during his rookie season. He’s missed time at various points in his career due to injuries, but Kelly has been a fixture in Indianapolis.
2022 Alabama Football Schedule
Sept. 3 vs. Utah State Aggies (Tuscaloosa, Ala.)
Sept. 10 at Texas Longhorns (Austin, Tex.)
Sept. 17 vs. UL-Monroe Warhawks (Tuscaloosa, Ala.)
Sept. 24 vs. Vanderbilt Commodores (Tuscaloosa, Ala.)
Oct. 1 at Arkansas Razorbacks (Fayetteville, Ark.)
Oct. 8 vs. Texas A&M Aggies (Tuscaloosa, Ala.)
Oct. 15 at Tennessee Volunteers (Knoxville, Tenn.)
Oct. 22 vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs (Tuscaloosa, Ala.)
Oct. 29 – OPEN WEEK
Nov. 5 at LSU Tigers (Baton Rouge, La.)
Nov. 12 at Ole Miss Rebels (Oxford, Miss.)
Nov. 19 vs. Austin Peay Governors (Tuscaloosa, Ala.)
Nov. 26 vs. Auburn Tigers (Tuscaloosa, Ala.)
Dec. 3 – SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME (Atlanta, Ga.)