It is fitting that this group of seniors gets to go out having played a huge
part in the resurrection of the Alabama football program. All of them had
the chance to go play their senior seasons elsewhere. Some of them could
have earned significant playing time at smaller schools (Raulston, Derek
Sanders, Lannis Baxley, Theo Sanders), and for them to stay here reflects
a strength of character and a loyalty that I hope we all remember and celebrate.
The senior walkons who toil every day on the scout teams, knowing they will
not see their names writ in Crimson flame also deserve our respect and admiration.
For the following young men, I have something special to say:
Collins: You are a complete wide receiver. you are not a "slow, white,
possession receiver". You always give 110%. You block as well as any WR
I ever saw. You don't drop many. You're a leader. You will be missed.
*Marico Portis: Nobody with a heart as big as yours is too small to play OL in the SEC. I wish you had another year.
Ephraim: You are continuing the line of great centers at Alabama, from Lee
Roy Jordan to Paul Crane to Sylvester Croom to Steve Mott to Dwight Stephenson
to Wes Neighbors to Roger Schultz to Tobie Shiels to you. You most definitely
belong in that company.
*Kindall Moorehead: You finally came into
your own this season. I'm glad you decided to come back for it. When the
game have been on the line this year, you could always be counted on to make
*Jarrett Johnson: The Man With The Eternal Motor. We will
never quit as long as you are on the field, because there is no quit in you.
Bolden: You were written off for dead at least three times in your 4 years,
and you keep coming back. It would have been easy for you to sulk, to quit,
or to transfer, yet you hung in.
*Gerald Dixon: Nobody I can remember
has made greater strides than you have in personal performance and leadership.
I know that all of the BamaNation is proud of you for working so hard to
become an integral part of this team.
*Waine Bacon: You've gone from
a walk-on to an all-conference quality strong safety. Your persistence and
hard work have made youa backbone of our much-improved secondary.
Bearden: What more can be said of you? You are the toughest SOB on the
team. You are a man among men. What you are doing is an inspiration to
anyone with a heart who thinks he can't overcome obstacles.
King: You have to be one of the most unselfish players I ever saw. You
could be an All-America at defensive end, but we needed you somewhere else,
and you're damn near an All-America there. Your leadership on and off the
fild will be sorely missed.
*Ahmaad Galloway: My heart aches that
you couldn't be out there helping to drive the dagger in the hearts of the
vols. What a leader, what an inspiration you have been to other players
and to us. Thank you for all you have done for the Crimson Tide.
Watts: A lot of people would have given up if they were in your shoes.
Yet no matter what obstacles you have faced, you have been a true leader
on this team. What you are teaching Brodie about heart and toughness is
invaluable. What you teach us all about toughness, and persistence, and
dignity in the face of adversity, and true class, and loyalty, and dedication,
and pride is incalculable. You are the heart and soul of this team, whether
you're in the game or on the sidelines. It didn't turn out exactly like
we all thought it would, but it's turned out fine.
Thank you to all
our seniors (and juniors) who stayed when the faint of heart would have left.
What you have helped to restore will cement your place at Alabama for all
time. Roll Tide.