|Sam 'Bam' Cunningham|
In 1970, the opening game of the season was against Southern Cal, which had an all-black backfield. One member of that backfield, playing his first college game that day, was Sam Cunningham, who went on to a stellar career in the NFL and a spot in the College Football Hall of Fame.
USC beat the crap out of Alabama, winning 42-21, with Cunningham having a great first game, gaining 135 yards on only 12 carries, and scoring two touchdowns – in the first quarter.
After the game was over, Bryant said to USC head coach John McKay, “I can’t thank you enough for what you did for me today.”The next season, Alabama had its first black player.