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28 Days ‘Till Alabama Football Kickoff: Javier Arenas

One of the best return men to ever grace the sport

One-thousand, seven-hundred, and fifty-two

That’s the number of punt return yards Javier Arenas amassed during his career from 2006-2009. It was also 9 yards short of breaking the record. Not an Alabama record... Not an SEC record.... An NCAA record.


Arenas’s career punt return touchdowns. One short of the NCAA record of 8.

One of the best return men to have ever played at Alabama (behind only maybe David Palmer), and one of the best ever in college football, Javier Arenas was one of the few sparks of the Mike Shula classes that became a fire when Nick Saban arrived.

From day one of his freshman year, Arenas was making the first punt gunner miss. Every time. By his junior year, teams were already kicking the ball out of bounds, and he was breaking into a starting role as a defensive back. He and Kareem Jackson made the first Saban cornerback tandem to contribute to the defensive juggernaut of the 2008 and 2009 squads.

At only 5’9”, but full of competitive fire and energy, he was the embodiment of his coach. After a return, no matter how well or poorly it went, he always hopped back to his feet and sprinted to the sidelines while the rest of his teammates sauntered around.

The height of his legacy, however, was that one time he single-handedly saved the Tide from losing to Tulane.

Enjoy reliving some of his great moments: