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Sunday, May 27, 2012
Countdown to kickoff: 97

By Alex Scarborough

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. 97 and what it means to UA football.

There may never be another No. 97 to play at the University of Alabama better than Cornelius Bennett. The three-time All-American at linebacker defined the position, averaging more than 95 tackles and five sacks a season. The Birmingham native took home the Lombardi Trophy his senior year, finished in the top 10 on Heisman ballots and was named the SEC Player of the Year.

Bennett was named UA's Player of the Decade for the 1980's, and  earned a spot on Alabama's Team of the Century. In 2005, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

The tenacious linebacker went on to be selected second overall in the 1987 draft by the Indianapolis Colts. He played 14 seasons in the NFL and appeared in five Super Bowls, four coming while with the Buffalo Bills.

When talking about the greatest linebackers in Alabama history, a good place to start is with No. 97 and Cornelius Bennett.

Who could be next in the line of great UA linebackers? Vote inside The Tusk.