41 Days Away from Bama Kickoff: Roman Harper
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. In honor of 41 days until kickoff, let's look at one of the best to ever don the number, Roman Harper.
Roman Harper joined the Crimson Tide as a mostly unknown prospect from Prattville, AL in 2001. Though he was unranked coming out of high school, Harper put together a legendary career with the Tide and is still regarded as one of the best in program history.
As a senior at Prattville High School, Harper was forced to play both ways for the Lions, suiting up at both his natural position of safety and a more unfamiliar one, quarterback.
Despite the setback, Harper guided his team to a 9-1 record in his final year and was named both First Team All-State and a member of the Mississippi/Alabama All-Star Game.
The unranked prospect chose to stay close to home and rolled with Alabama, who was coming off a 3-8 season and dealing with NCAA sanctions.
In his time with the Tide, Harper compiled an incredible 302 tackles and five interceptions and was named All-SEC in his final two years. After the 2005 season in which Alabama finished 10-2, Harper departed for the NFL.
In the 2006 draft, Harper was selected in the second round by the New Orleans Saints and immediately became a starter in his rookie season. The Prattville native spent eight seasons in New Orleans and was a key member of the Super Bowl Champion squad in 2010.
After leaving the Saints, Harper joined the Panthers in 2014 and helped guide the team to an appearance in Super Bowl 50.
Across his eleven-year career, Harper put together an incredible stat line of over 800 tackles, 67 pass deflections and 15 forced fumbles. He was named to two Pro Bowls and is a member of the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame.
Now, Harper is a member of the ESPN family and can be found on SEC Network breaking down the teams he once played against.