Nine Days Away From Bama Kickoff: Freddie Kitchens
Each day counting down to Alabama's Week 1 matchup with Utah State, I will highlight a former player whose jersey number coincides with the amount of days until the game. The Tide takes the field in just nine days, so let's look back at former Bama signal caller Freddie Kitchens.
Freddie Kitchens suited up at quarterback for the Tide from 1993-97, and finished his career as one of the top signal callers in program history at the time. He guided the Tide to two bowl victories as a starter and is now known for his time as a coach in both the collegiate and professional ranks.
A native of Gadsden, AL, Kitchens attended Etowah High School and was a star in his four years as a Blue Devil. Despite interest from the MLB for his baseball ability, Kitchens instead chose to attend the University of Alabama and suit up for Gene Stallings.
In his first season, Kitchens redshirted as the Tide went 9-3, losing the Iron Bowl and SEC title game, but defeating North Carolina in the Gator Bowl. 1994 saw the redshirt freshman sit behind a senior Jay Barker as the Tide bounced back from a somewhat disappointing year.
Alabama went 12-1, losing in the SEC Championship once more, but defeating Ohio State in the Citrus Bowl.
Kitchens split time in his sophomore season with Brian Burgdorf, but took over as a full-time starter in 1996. That season, he led the Tide to a 10-3 record and a win over Michigan in the Outback Bowl.
In Kitchens' final year with the Crimson Tide, Mike DuBose took over as head coach and Alabama struggled mightily, finishing with a losing record for the first time since 1984.
After leaving Alabama, Kitchens began his coaching career. He bounced around the SEC as an assistant at schools like Mississippi State and LSU before settling in the NFL where he spent the next 15 years.
In 2019, he was named head coach of the Cleveland Browns after serving as the interim coach for the back half of the previous season. While he entered the year with high expectations, Cleveland finished just 6-10 and missed out on the playoffs entirely.
Kitchens was fired that offseason and joined the New York Giants staff as an assistant. Now, he serves as a senior offensive analyst for Shane Beamer at South Carolina.