27 Days Away from Bama Kickoff: Justin Woodall
Each day counting down to Alabama's Week 1 matchup with Utah State, I will highlight one former player whose jersey number coincides with the amount of days until the game. The Tide takes the field in just 27 days, so let's look at the career of former Alabama safety Justin Woodall.
Justin Woodall suited up for the Crimson Tide from 2006-09, and was a ball-hawking safety that starred on Nick Saban's first of many national championship teams.
A native of Oxford, MS, Woodall was actually drafted into the MLB fresh out of high school, but was also recruited as a four-star prospect and opted to enroll at the University of Alabama to continue his football career instead.
In his freshman year, Woodall saw time in several games, mostly serving as just a rotational defensive back or on special teams. He finished with six tackles and a pass deflection in 12 appearances.
As a sophomore, the former dual-sport athlete saw his playing time take a dip and he did not record any stats on the year, but in 2008, as a junior, he earned a starting role.
Woodall started all 14 of Alabama's games and recorded 47 tackles and four interceptions. The Tide ended the season in disappointment; however, dropping its final two games of the year to Florida and Utah.
Returning for his senior year, Woodall again helped lead a fierce Alabama defense. The safety finished with 45 tackles and three interceptions, and as a unit, the defense held teams to less than 12 points per game.
Alabama, guided by the stout defense, finished 14-0, winning the National Championship and avenging the season prior.
Woodall entered the 2010 NFL Draft, but went unselected. Rather than take his chances as an undrafted free agent with a team, the former star pitcher returned to the diamond and, despite having not played in over three years, was drafted into the MLB again.
The Tampa Bay Rays took a chance on the former highly touted pitcher in the 26th round, but Woodall would spend just two seasons in professional baseball as a minor leaguer.
Since the conclusion of his baseball career, the former safety has returned to the gridiron once more and is now working to train young athletes at his All in One Training Academy in Birmingham. He has worked with several Alabama football signees, including recent four and five-stars Malachi Moore and Kool-Aid McKinstry.