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Alabama football countdown to kickoff: 82 days

Clint Lamb06/13/22
Article written by:On3 imageClint Lamb

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Roy K. Miller, Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

If you can believe it, we are officially under the 90-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 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 13, that means we are only 82 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 then.

With opening week 82 days away, let’s focus on a player — both past and present — who has represented that number.

*Note: BamaOn3 is also doing a Countdown to Fall Camp, which is only 53 days away.

Who currently wears the No. 82?

Placekicker Chase Allen, a junior out of Colleyville (Tex.), is the only player currently wearing the No. 82 for Alabama. Freshman wide receiver Aaron Anderson also wore it during the spring, but with transfer running back Jahmyr Gibbs recently switching from No. 13 to 1, Anderson is now reportedly taking over 13.

Who’s a noteworthy former player to wear it?

At Alabama, the No. 82 is synonymous with the tight end position — at least in the minds of most fans. Whether we’re talking about the days prior to coach Nick Saban’s arrival or since, there’s been at least one standout tight end who has represented the number well.

Before the Saban era, it was former star tight end/wide receiver Ozzie Newsome, who played for the Crimson Tide from 1974-77. The Muscle Shoals product was a big-time contributor in all four of those seasons, too. He never posted less than 350 yards in a single season and had four or more scores in three of the four years.

That production led Newsome to All-American honors in 1977 and two first-team All-SEC selections (1976-77).

Newsome then went on to play 13 seasons for the Cleveland Browns, and even broke the 1,000-yard receiving mark twice during that time period. For his career, the No. 23 overall pick in the 1978 NFL Draft brought in 662 receptions for 7,980 yards and 47 touchdowns, plus added a couple of rushing scores to his totals.

After retirement in 1991, Newsome immediately went into a scouting role for the same franchise that had employed him as a player for almost a decade and a half. Over the 12 years, he kept climbing the ranks and even relocated with the franchise when it moved from Cleveland to Baltimore and became the Ravens.

Then in 2002, Newsome was named the general manager, a role he served in for 17 years — winning two Super Bowls in the process. He stepped down as GM back in 2018, but immediately went assumed a new position as an executive vice president with the Ravens.

Newsome has been a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame since 1999.

The player most known for wearing the No. 82 during the Saban era is none other than Irv Smith Jr., who played for Alabama from 2016-18 and produced one of the best statistical seasons (44 catches, 710 receiving yards, 7 touchdowns) for a tight end in school history. He then went on the become a second-round pick to the Minnesota Vikings in 2019.

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.)