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. 61 and what it means to UA football. See all the previous editions here.
Recently in our countdown to the season opener against Michigan, we've talked a lot about Alabama's offensive line. It's been only natural when you consider the numbers of each player. Today we'll wrap up the talk of the big uglies with No. 61 Anthony Steen.
Steen may not have the name recognition of a Barrett Jones, D.J. Fluker or Chance Warmack. He may not even been on the tip of people's tongue like sophomore Cyrus Kouandjio. But if the Crimson Tide are hoping to have the best offensive line in the country this season, Steen will have a heavy influence on the outcome. The junior from Mississippi started the majority of games last season and should be the man at right guard, sandwiched between Jones at center and Fluker at right tackle.
The 6-foot-3, 303-pound guard was part of the 2009 signing class, and actually entered school as the No. 39 defensive tackle in the country, according to ESPN. He redshirted that year and transitioned to the offensive line, serving as a backup in 2010 and started the final two games of the season when Jones was sidelined by injury.
With another year of experience under his belt and four very capable lineman around him, the Alabama front five on offense could be brutal. Throw in a good blocker in tight end Michael Williams, and the battle in the trenches become even more intriguing.
“We can be the best in the country,” Steen told reporters this spring. “We have the confidence to be. ... We’re coming together as a unit now and if we keep our heads straight and stay focused we can be the best.”