Countdown to kickoff: 18

August, 14, 2012
8/14/12
6:35
AM ET
From now until kickoff in Arlington, Texas, we'll be counting down the days before Alabama and Michigan get the season started. Today, we move to No. 18 and what it means to UA football. See all the previous editions here.

Since Nick Saban's arrival in Tuscaloosa, Ala., the University of Alabama has had an argument for often overused moniker of "Linebacker U." Just a few months ago, the Crimson Tide had two linebackers taken in the first 35 picks of the draft. Between the likes of Dont'a Hightower, Courtney Upshaw, Rolando McClain, DeMeco Ryans and Dwayne Rudd, UA has had more than two dozen first-team All-American linebackers in its history.

So when Reggie Ragland signed with the Tide in 2012, he immediately joined a prestigious class of linebackers. The No. 2 inside linebacker in the country put on No. 18 at Alabama and followed in the path of some of the game's greats.

But Ragland isn't the only high-profile linebacker to sign with Alabama out of high school. The depth chart is littered with four- and five-star recruits. Here's a breakdown of all the linebackers to sign with Alabama since 2008 and how they've ranked.

2012
Reggie Ragland -- No. 2 ILB
Dillion Lee -- No. 6 OLB
Ryan Anderson -- No. 7 OLB
Tyler Hayes -- No. 10 OLB
Denzel Devall -- No. 22 DE

2011
Trey DePriest -- No. 2 OLB
Xzavier Dickson -- No. 4 DE
Shannon Brown -- No. 13 ILB
Vinnie Sunseri -- No. 18 OLB
Brent Calloway -- No. 23 ATH

2010
C.J. Mosley -- No. 7 OLB
Jalston Fowler -- N/A OLB
Petey Smith -- N/A ILB

2009
Nico Johnson -- No. 2 ILB
Petey Smith -- No. 5 ILB
Tana Patrick -- No. 9 OLB
Jonathan Atchinson -- No. 14 OLB

2008
Courtney Upshaw -- No. 4 DE
Jerrell Harris -- No. 8 OLB
Chris Jordan -- No. 20 OLB
Dont'a Hightower -- No. 26 DE

Alex Scarborough | email

Alabama/SEC reporter

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