Countdown to kickoff: 78

June, 15, 2012
6/15/12
10:30
AM ET
From now until kickoff in Arlington, Texas, we'll be counting down from 100 to 1 until Alabama and Michigan get the season started. Today, we move to No. 78 and what it means to UA football.

From the minute Julio Jones glided onto the University of Alabama campus, you knew there was something special about him. From his prodigious height to his superior ball skills, it was clear the next great Crimson Tide receiver had arrived.

And in 2010, Jones cemented that notion, grabbing a school record 78 receptions -- surpassing the old mark by more than 10 catches. His junior campaign (7 touchdowns and 1,133 yards) would be enough to encourage the Atlanta Falcons to trade their first-, second- and fourth-round picks in the 2011 draft, as well as their first- and fourth-round picks in in 2012.

Jones reminded Alabama fans last season what made him so special, becoming a deep threat for the Falcons' Matt Ryan.

Back at the Capstone, UA saw a significant drop off at receiver in 2011. Marquis Maze, the Tide's leading receiver, finished the year with 56 catches for one touchdown and 48.2 yards per game.

This coming season promises an improvement. Kenny Bell, DeAndrew White, Kevin Norwood and company all have another year of experience under their belts. They're also joined by a pair of top-10 high school prospects at the position: Chris Black and Amari Cooper. Both true freshmen drew praise from the coaching staff and could make an impact in 2012.

Who will be the receiver to break Julio Jones' record number of receptions? Vote inside the Tusk.

Alex Scarborough | email

Alabama/SEC reporter

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