In the closest voting yet in our quest to determine the greatest Alabama Crimson Tide player of all time, the old guard got past the young lion. Today’s matchup is another past-versus-present showdown, featuring two players who made Alabama football a family tradition. Our first field manager makes an appearance in Jeff Rutledge. Standing in his way in the Tide’s all-time leader in points and top seeded Leigh Tiffin. Choose carefully.
Bryant Division – Quarterbacks vs. Special Teams
Jeff Rutledge (1976-1978)
Quarterback – Birmingham, Alabama
Career Statistics: 56.8% completion, 3351 Passing Yards, 30 passing TDs, 584 rushing yards, 11 rushing TDs
Jeff Rutledge, like many great Alabama quarterbacks, may not have one of the greatest stat lines in the history of the game. His career numbers are being put up in one year by quarterbacks now. However, it’s Rutledge’s leadership and ability to win games that makes him worthy of the BamaHammer Players Championship.
Rutledge came to Tuscaloosa already having two championships from high school under his belt. He finished his career at Alabama with a 33-5 record, capping it off with a third straight SEC championship and a national championship in 1978. He was a captain of that national championship team for coach Bear Bryant. Rutledge’s ability to run the wishbone offense to perfection made him a great leader to the team.
Rutledge was named to 2nd team All-SEC his junior and senior seasons. He followed in his brother Gary’s footsteps to Alabama as a starting quarterback and a national champion.
Leigh Tiffin (2006-2009)
Kicker – Muscle Shoals, Alabama
Career Statistics: 136-142 PAT, 83-111 FG, 385 points, Long of 54
Leigh Tiffin also had a legacy to fulfill. He came to Alabama to follow in his father’s footsteps. After a rough start to his freshman year, where a loss to Arkansas was on his shoulders, he began to play like his dad, if not better.
Tiffin broke several school records and came close for many NCAA career kicking records. He is the current Alabama record holder in career extra points, career field goals and career points. He finished 4 shy of total field goals made in an NCAA career and finished one shy of most field goals in a season in 2009. He had his career game against Tennessee in his senior season when he made four field goals from 38, 50, 22 and 49 in a 12-10 win for the Tide.
Tiffin finished his senior year as a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award, given to the nation’s best kicker. He was selected three times as the Lou Groza “Star of the Week.” Leigh Tiffin lived up to his father’s name, and we may be seeing another Tiffin in the next twenty years.
Which player advances to the next round?
- Leigh Tiffin (46%, 25 Votes)
- Jeff Rutledge (54%, 31 Votes)
Total Voters: 54