BCS title game hero welcomes competition

Happy Good Friday. Start your day by reading today’s print story about Alabama kicker Jeremy Shelley. Start now …

TUSCALOOSA — Big games have a way of crowning unlikely heroes at Alabama. Eryk Anders, a barely recruited linebacker out of Texas, forced the game-clinching fumble in the Crimson Tide’s 2010 BCS Championship Game win over the Longhorns.

Two years later, Jeremy Shelley, a long-haired former soccer player from basketball country, kicked Alabama past LSU for another national title.

Anders is now a mixed martial artist, but a spring scrimmage is next up this afternoon for Shelley.

Entering his final season at Alabama — still without a scholarship — Shelley, a Raleigh, N.C., product, nailed all four of his field goal attempts in last Saturday’s first scrimmage.

Yet that doesn’t compare to the early January night in the Superdome, when he scored 15 of Alabama’s 21 points, hitting a record five field goals.

He called the three months since then “surreal.”

“It was busy,” Shelley said. “I had a lot of interviews and radio interviews and a lot of stuff from back home — a lot of friends and family friends talking to me. And it was a lot of fun.”

The run-up to the title-game win wasn’t quite as fun.

Click here for the full story in today’s paper.

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