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75 Days ‘Til Kickoff: Barrett Jones, one of the greatest student-athletes in any sport, in any era.

Smart, versatile, competitive, gifted, leader. One of the best to ever play college ball.

Western Kentucky v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Over the past few seasons, Alabama has produced one exceptional scholar-athlete after another across nearly every sport; all-conference and all-Americans on the field and in the classroom are the new norm. Players like Haylie McCleney on the diamond, Lauren Beers on the mats, Levi Randolph and Retin Obasohan on the court, and Ryan Kelly on the gridiron rightly make Alabama fans, students, and alumni proud of their play, their hard work, and their sportsmanship.

But, among the luminaries the Tide has produced the last decade, perhaps none stand out quite like the man whose name is synonymous with versatility, intelligence, and excellence: Barrett Jones.

The four-star, No. 1 center prospect in 2008 was an Army All-American before coming to the Capstone from Germantown (Memphis,) TN.

At Alabama, he was simply one of the best collegiate student-athletes to ever don pads, graduating summa cum laude while playing three positions across the offensive line, and earning national honors at every single one of them:

  • Freshman All-American RG (2009)
  • Freshman All-SEC RG (2009)
  • Wuerffel Trophy LT (2011) (“player who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement")
  • Outland Trophy LT (2011) (best interior lineman)
  • Jacobs Blocking Trophy LT (2011) (best blocker in the SEC)
  • Jim Parker Trophy LT (2011) (top collegiate offensive lineman)
  • William Campbell Trophy C (2012) (The “academic Heisman” given to given to the American college football player with the best combination of academics, community service, and on-field performance.”)
  • Rimington Trophy C (2012) (best college center)
  • All-SEC 2011-2012
  • Consensus All-American 2011-2012
  • NCAA Academic All-American for Division I, given to the individual with the best combined athletic and academic excellence.

He also had a nasty streak, was a fierce competitor, and used his quick wits to compensate for lack of elite athleticism.

Jones was selected in the 4th round of the NFL draft. And, while injuries derailed the earlier portion of his career, Barrett seems to have finally found a home with the rebuilding Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive line at right guard, where he ironically replaces former Alabama-great and NFL all-pro Evan Mathis.

We are 75 days from kickoff. Roll Tide.