97 Days Until The College Football Season Kicks Off
One day closer, One. Day. Closer.
So far, yet so close. We are only 97 days out from the college football season and the closer we get, the more fired up I get. Today, we have two big time defensive players that wore the number 97 when they were terrorizing offensive lines.
The first guy is another guy I met at the Walter Camp banquet in 2020, subtle flex no big deal. It is former Alabama linebacker and ex Buffalo Bill, Cornelius Bennett.
While Bennett may have changed his number from 97 to 55 in the NFL, he’ll always be remembered by die hard Crimson Tide fans as the hard hitting edge rusher who wore 97.
Cornelius accomplished so much while in Tuscaloosa. He was the 1986 Lombardi Award Winner and the ‘86 SEC Defensive Player of the Year. In addition to that, he was a three time All American and three time first team All SEC.
Through his career he racked up 287 tackles, 21.5 sacks, and 3 fumble recoveries which was good enough to get him into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2005.
The second guy on this list is somewhat of a household name. Kind of an undersized defensive tackle who has had a decent career thus far in the NFL. His name is Aaron Donald.
Donald is most recognizable in his number 99 jersey for the Rams but back in his college days he wore 97 for the Pittsburgh Panthers.
The biggest knock on Donald coming out of college was that he was too small but he immediately squashed that when he dominated players like Zack Martin and Xavier Su’a-Filo at the Senior Bowl.
When Donald was playing in the Steel City, he amassed 181 tackles, 66 for loss, 29.5 sacks, and 6 forced fumbles. With numbers like that over his four year career, it was impossible for the Rams to pass on him at 13 in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Tomorrow is number 96 and there is a special player that I don’t think anyone will see coming that rocked 96.