The former NFL MVP sat down with GameDay to discuss his career at Alabama from 1996-99.
GameDay: How were you recruited to the University of Alabama?
Shaun Alexander: I was recruited by the greatest running back coach in history, Ivy Williams. We were a probation class and had 14 students with scholarships, among them two of my closest friends: Fernando Bryant and Chris Samuels. Three of us among the 14 became first-round draft picks. I picked Alabama over Notre Dame, USC and Michigan.
GD: What was your favorite memory playing for the Tide?
SA: I had many great memories with each season but a few that stand out are the LSU game my freshman year, senior year the overtime run versus Florida, the whole fourth quarter of my senior game against Auburn and – of course – the SEC championship.
GD: What were the teams you most looked forward to playing against each year?
SA: It was always special to play Auburn because it was so intense. I believe the great players want those intense games where you feel pressure two days before the game. The Auburn game was like that every year, and I enjoyed that feeling. LSU on the road also was big because Alabama had the longest win streak against them, and we didn’t want to be the team to end that record.
GD: What did it mean to you as a team to beat Florida twice like you did in 1999?
SA: Every team that puts on the crimson jersey wants to leave their mark. Our mark was beating Florida and breaking their home streak of winning 30-some home games in a row. Then, Alabama winning the SEC championship was a mark for all the players and our legacy with Alabama.
GD: Better feeling: running out of the tunnel for the NFL or at Bryant-Denny Stadium?
SA: I had a funny experience in that my first preseason game with the Seattle Seahawks. Only 30,000 people were in the stands. I asked back-up quarterback Brock Huard, “Where is everyone?” We had 60,000 people show up to our practices at Alabama. It took a couple of years with the Seahawks, but we got the bigger crowds. There is nothing like playing before Alabama fans in Alabama.
GD: You have been on the cover of the Madden video game and the NCAA video game. Which one do you like seeing yourself on the cover and why?
SA: I felt like the college video was the big one because I never imagined I would have a as a 22-year-old college kid. It was a shock and awe kind of feeling. The Madden game was very special and cool, but I could kind of see it coming. I had just won the MVP and the people from Madden started whispering to me that I would be the next cover boy. So, that made the playoffs super fun. It was a great honor to be on the game.