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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Top 11 Alabama(Football) Players of All Time

Top 11 Alabama(Football) Players of All Time

The Top 11 Alabama Players of All Time!
Publish Date: 01/06/2022
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa
NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 02: Derrick Henry #27 of the Alabama Crimson Tide runs with the ball against the Oklahoma Sooners during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 2, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Let’s get this straight before everybody starts complaining about my top 10! It’s impossible with the number of great players that the Crimson Tide has had to get everybody on this list that should be. If I had made this list every day for a week, it would be different every time. That’s why the Alabama Crimson Tide has the best College Football program of all time!

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11) Joe Namath

Between 1962 and 1964, Namath quarterbacked the Alabama Crimson Tide program under Bryant and his offensive coordinator, Howard Schnellenberger. A year after being suspended for the final two games of the regular season, Namath led the Tide to a national championship in 1964. During his time at the University of Alabama, Namath led the team to a 29–4 record over three seasons

10) Don Hutson

Hutson was the first true route-runner in football. Hutson was recognized as a first-team All-American for six different organizations and received a second-team selection by one other. In an attempt to name retroactive Heisman Trophy winners before its first year of 1936, Hutson was awarded it for 1934 by the National Football Foundation. Georgia Tech coach Bill Alexander once said, “All Don Hutson can do beat you with clever hands and the most baffling change of pace I’ve ever seen.

9) Julio Jones

Jones would be top 5 if he stayed for his senior season. Instead, Jones ended his Alabama career second in career receptions (179) and yards (2,653) in school history and fourth in touchdown catches (15). He had eight career 100-yard receiving games (second in school history). Jones was a first-team All-SEC selection in 2010.

8) Mark Ingram Jr.

Ingram was the first Heisman winner in Crimson Tide history, and that season, he tallied 1,648 rushing yards to set the Alabama single-season record and 1,992 all-purpose yards while scoring 20 touchdowns. In addition, he had nine 100-yard games, including a season-high and Bryant-Denny Stadium-record 246 yards against No. 22 South Carolina on October 17. He may not have lived up to expectations in the NFL, but he is still an all-time great College Running Back.

7) Amari Cooper

Cooper’s final season at Bama was dominant, to say the least, as he accounted for 124 receptions for 1,727 yards and 16 touchdowns; Cooper also set numerous single-season Crimson Tide records (many career marks as well) and put up most of his most significant numbers against some of the best pass defenses in college football.

At the end of that regular season, he had faced seven of the top 50 defenses, including two in the top 10 and three in the top 20. He caught 69 passes (9.9 per game) for 1,041 yards (148.7 yards) with ten touchdowns in those seven games. In addition, Cooper had three 200-yard performances.

Against the six opponents ranked in the Associated Press poll, he caught 58 passes for 756 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 9.7 catches and 126 yards.

Consequently, he was the first Crimson Tide player and just second in SEC history to win the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top receiver.

6) Ozzie Newsome

Newsome would be one of the most extraordinary Tight Ends in NFL history, but at Alabama, he was maybe the most excellent Wide Reciever the Tide has ever had. As a four-year starter from 1974-77, Newsome set many Crimson Tide reception records. Overall, he caught 102 passes for 2,070 yards, with an average gain per pass of 20.3 yards, an SEC record.

5) Dwight Stephenson

Stephenson was the Crimson Tide’s starting center from 1977 to 1979 and was a member of Alabama’s back-to-back national championship teams of 1978 and 1979. He was a two-time second-team All-American; in 1978, United Press International (UPI) and 1979, by the Associated Press (AP) and UPI. Stephenson was unlike any other center at that time as his foot speed, and athletic ability was off the charts.

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4) Lee Roy Jordan

Jordan was so good that in 1962 he placed fourth in Heisman voting, and he was a center and linebacker! Jordan was one of the leaders of Paul “Bear” Bryant’s first national championship in 1961 when opponents combined to score just 25 points. For his senior season, 1962, he was a unanimous All-American selection. Alabama went 10-1 with a 17-0 victory over Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl, where Jordan made 30 tackles.

3) John Hannah

Hannah was an All-American in 1971 and a unanimous selection when he also won the SEC’s Jacobs Award as its best blocker, along with Lineman of the Year by the Birmingham Quarterback Club, Atlanta, and Miami Touchdown Club. Hannah is also considered by many to be the most outstanding guard in NFL history and overall one of the greatest linemen of all time.

2) Derrick Thomas

College Football, for some reason, did not start counting sacks until 2000, so you won’t see Thomas on those lists, but if you did, he would sit at the very top. On Alabama’s all-time sacks list, Derrick Thomas has more than twice as many as the player in second place (52 to Kindal Moorehead’s 25 from 1998-2002), and he was first and second in single-season sacks with 27 in 1988 and 18 in 1987.

Thomas was Alabama’s first winner of the Butkus Award for best linebacker in the nation; he was a unanimous All-American in 1988.

1) Derrick Henry

Henry was just the second Alabama player to win the Heisman that season and it was about even more than a Heisman as he also won all three major “player of the year” awards, the Maxwell and Walter Camp being the others. He also won the Doak Walker Award for best running back.

With 2,219 rushing yards in 2015, he smashed Alabama’s single-season rushing record by 540 yards—almost 25 per cent of his total—and finished as the program’s all-time leading rusher. Henry had 3,591 career yards to top Shaun Alexander’s 3,565 (1996-99).

He had ten 100-yard performances in 2015 alone to set another school record, and his 28 rushing touchdowns shattered the previous SEC record of 23 (Tim Tebow and Tre Mason).

 

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