Countdown to kickoff: 4

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

A couple of days ago on the Countdown, we talked about the impact of true freshman receiver Amari Cooper. Today, we'll take a look at another rookie ready to make his presence known from Day 1, No. 4 T.J. Yeldon.

The running back from Daphne, Ala., burst onto the scene with a strong performance at A-Day, earning the Dixie Howell Award given to the game’s most valuable player for his 180-yard performance. The 6-foot-2, 216-pound tailback has shown he's the full package: a strong runner inside and outside the tackles, a good pass-catcher and just the right mix of speed and size.

Here's a sampling of what players have said about Yeldon this year:

  • Eddie Lacy on Yeldon's progression: “He did pretty good. He came in and did everything he had to do. He did it very well, too. He took on the role very well.”

  • Kenny Bell on the stable of backs: "We've got a few really good backs. Eddie Lacy, Jalston Fowler, Dee Hart and T.J. Yeldon. If they're running the ball good, you just keep feeding the horse until it breaks."

  • AJ McCarron on Yeldon: "He’s a hard runner, very smart running back. The kid can play. But it’s definitely different when the lights turn on and you’re playing LSU or South Carolina, whoever we’ve got. We’re definitely going to get a chance to see him. It’s going to be fun."

  • Barrett Jones on Yeldon: "He’s good. It’s hard to really tell where he stacks up until we get into a game setting, but he’s definitely very, very talented, and we have high hopes for him."