Eight Days Away from Bama Kickoff: Julio Jones
Each day counting down to Alabama's Week 1 matchup with Utah State, I will highlight a former player whose jersey number coincides with the amount of days until the game. The Crimson Tide kicks off in only eight days, so let's look at one of the legends of the Alabama program, Julio Jones.
Julio Jones, like several others on this list, was a member of Alabama's program redefining 2008 recruiting class. He was one of the nation's top rated recruits out of Foley, AL and chose the Crimson Tide over the likes of nearly any school he could have thought of.
In just his freshman season, Jones started all of the Tide's games, hauling in an incredible, team-leading 58 receptions for nearly 1,000 yards. Alabama finished the season 12-2, missing an appearance in the National Championship by just one game.
As a sophomore, Jones got off to a slow start, but finished the season strong. He caught just 43 passes for 596 yards, but played a massive role in the Tide's undefeated national title run.
In Week 9 against the LSU Tigers, Jones took a screen pass 73-yards in the final minutes to secure an Alabama victory. Just a few weeks later, against another fierce rival, Jones hauled in three crucial third down conversions and helped the Tide secure a comeback victory in the Iron Bowl.
In his junior year, the Foley native put together his best statistical season yet. Jones caught an incredible 78 passes for over 1,100 yards and seven touchdowns. He was touted by many as the nation's top receiver prospect heading into the 2011 NFL Draft, and Jones decided to forgo his senior year and declare.
He was drafted sixth overall by the Atlanta Falcons and spent 10 seasons with the team where he quickly became one of the NFL's top wideouts in history. From 2011-20, Jones caught 848 passes for 12,896 yards. He was named to seven Pro Bowls and received First Team All-Pro honors twice, as well as being named to the 2010s All-Decade Team.
Last season, the former five-star spent an injury riddles year with the Tennessee Titans in which he barely found the field. Now, Jones looks to be healthy once more heading into a new season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.