Countdown to kickoff: 49

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. 49 and what it means to UA football. See all the previous editions here.

In the history of the University of Alabama, no football player got into the end zone more times than Shaun Alexander. The pride of Kentucky was a star for the Crimson Tide at running back, compiling 49 offensive touchdowns in his career. Toss in a kickoff return for a touchdown, and that number swells to a generous 50.

Alexander didn't waste much time after signing with coach Gene Stallings in 1995. He redshirted his first season and then took the college football world by storm the next, rushing for 589 yards and six touchdowns. On the road against LSU, he ran for 291 yards and four touchdowns on just 20 carries. The next season he'd miss time due to injury, but upon returning his junior season healthy, he slashed college football defenses for 1,178 yards and 17 touchdowns. After another injury plagued campaign his senior year, Alexander would enter the NFL draft.

He finished his career at Alabama with 3,433 yards rushing, 40 touchdowns on the ground and another eight receiving. He left UA holding more than a dozen school records.

The Seattle Seahawks took Alexander with the 19th overall pick in the 2000 draft. He'd spend all but one of his nine seasons in the NFL in the Upper Midwest. While with the Seahawks, Alexander put up several marquee seasons, winning the MVP in 2005 and earning a coveted spot on the Madden NFL cover in 2007. He was a three-time Pro Bowl selection and twice he was selected to the NFL All-Pro team. His 9,453 career rushing yards and 112 offensive touchdowns earned him a spot on the NFL All-Decade Team for the 2000s.

Alabama's all-time touchdown leaders are as follows:

  1. Shaun Alexander: 50

  2. Mark Ingram: 46

  3. Trent Richardson: 43

  4. Bobby Humphrey: 40

  5. Johnny Musso: 38