We’re continuing our tournament to crown the greatest Alabama Crimson Tide football player in history, and so far your votes have been spread across the generations.
In the first three matchups, the winners have been one player who played alongside Coach Bryant; one who played for Bryant; and one who did something no Bryant player could: bring Alabama the Heisman Trophy.
Voting for each poll will be open for 24 hours, so get your vote in now.
Stallings Division – Defensive Line vs. Offensive Line
Leroy Cook (1972-1975)
Defensive End – Abbeville, Ala.
6’4”, 220 lbs
Career: 200 tackles (13 for loss), 15 sacks, 10 forced fumbles
A consensus All-American in 1974 and a unanimous selection in 1975, Leroy Cook played a key role during the Crimson Tide’s run of four consecutive SEC championships between 1972-1975 that included a national championship in 1973. During his four-year tenure, the Tide held a record of 43-5.
Few players in Alabama history – offensively or defensively – filled the stat sheet like Cook did. In his first All-American season in 1974, Cook recorded 81 tackles (4 for loss), 6 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 3 blocked kicks – the second-most ever in a single season by an Alabama player.
During the 1975 campaign, Cook was named SEC Player of the Year by the Atlanta Touchdown Club after improving his stat line with 85 tackles (13 for loss), 9 sacks, and 4 forced fumbles. He also had career-highs in both tackles and sacks in a game after recording 22 and 4 against Mississippi State and Tennessee, respectively.
For his career, Cook shares the Alabama record for most forced fumbles in a career with 10, and his 4 blocked kicks puts him behind only Derrick Thomas’ five. Cook has since been named to Alabama’s 1970s All-Decade Team and to Sports Illustrated’s All-Time University of Alabama team.
Andre Smith (2006-2008)
Offensive Tackle – Birmingham, Ala.
6’4”, 335 lbs
Arguably the greatest left tackle in Alabama history, Andre Smith’s arrival in Tuscaloosa came at a pivotal time in Alabama football’s illustrious history. Named to the SEC All-Freshman First Team in 2006, Smith was one of a few significant holdovers from the Mike Shula era after current head coach Nick Saban was hired in 2007.
Following the 7-6 rebuilding year in 2007, Smith helped jumpstart Alabama football to its current glory in 2008 when the Crimson Tide finished the regular season undefeated at 12-0 before falling short in the SEC Championship Game and Sugar Bowl.
Along with being named a unanimous All-American selection in 2008, Smith was named All-SEC in both 2007 and 2008. Following the 2008 campaign, he became only the second player in Tide history to win the Outland Trophy. In 38 career starts, Smith allowed only 7 sacks at the left tackle position while facing some of the nation’s premier pass rushers on a weekly basis.
Which player advances to the next round?
- Andre Smith (41%, 53 Votes)
- Leroy Cook (59%, 77 Votes)
Total Voters: 130