Inside the technology giving Alabama a competitive edge

Ask anyone <a href=""> what moment from the <a href=""> 2015 College Football <a href=""> Playoff national <a href=""> championship game sticks out to them and they would likely say <a href=""> the onside kick that <a href=""> swung the momentum in Alabama's favor. It was surprising, gutsy and <a href=""> so incredibly perfect.

But present <a href=""> the same question to <a href=""> the principal figures <a href=""> attached to the Crimson Tide's medical and <a href=""> training staffs and they'll all give a <a href=""> different answer. They'll <a href=""> mention the 95-yard kickoff <a href=""> return by Kenyan <a href=""> Drake that pushed Alabama's <a href=""> lead into the double <a href=""> digits during the fourth <a href=""> quarter of a 45-40 <a href=""> victory over Clemson. To them, it was validating, gratifying and inspiring.

In a span of 14 seconds -- the time it took Drake to catch the ball, begin his run, make a hard cut to his left, outrace the coverage to the far <a href=",80292">,80292 sideline, jet upfield and eventually dive across the goal line -- Alabama team physician Norman Waldrop and his colleagues had witnessed technology's impact on college football's most prominent football program.

As Drake was making his mad dash to the end zone, a small 3.8-inch device housed in the back of the running back's shoulder pads captured him sprinting at a top-end speed of 22.05 miles per hour. Drake had never run that fast, not even before the gruesome left-ankle injury he suffered against Ole Miss in October 2014. In fact, no Tide player had reached that velocity in the previous two years.