In the closest voting yet in our tournament to crown the greatest Alabama football player in history, Jeff Rutledge moved past Leigh Tiffin in a squeaker. Now it’s time to turn our attention to some speedy specialists. Remember; your vote absolutely counts if you want your favorite to move on to the next round.
Wade Division – Defensive Backs vs. Wide Receivers
Antonio Langham (1990-1993)
Cornerback – Town Creek, AL
6’1”, 170 lbs
Career Statistics: 141 Tackles, 19 INT’s, 3 TD’s
Antonio Langham was possibly the easiest player to seed in any of the four regions. His list of accolades and career accomplishments are unmatched. In 1993 he was honored with the Jim Thorpe Award and the Jack Tatum Trophy; each of which are presented annually to the nation’s top defensive back. Langham was named All-SEC and All-American in 1992 and 1993.
He is perhaps best remembered for his interception return for a touchdown against Florida in the inaugural SEC Championship Game. The play was so significant that ESPN eventually filmed a documentary entitled The Play That Changed College Football. Langham’s pick six with just over three minutes left propelled Alabama to the 1993 Sugar Bowl, where the Tide throttled Miami for their 12th national title.
It’s been argued that Langham’s interception helped boost the national view of the SEC as the most prominent conference in the NCAA; a spot the league has held for the better part of 20 years. Langham still holds the school record for most career interceptions with 19, as well as most career interceptions for a touchdown, with three.
David Bailey (1969-1971)
Wide Receiver – Bailey, MS
6’1”, 186 lbs
Career Statistics: 132 Receptions, 1,857 yards, 13 TD’s
David Bailey is a name you don’t often hear when referencing legends of the past. It’s an injustice that needs rectifying. Bailey was a co-captain of the 1971 Alabama Crimson Tide team that took home the SEC Championship. That same year he was named 1st team All-SEC. By the time Bailey had finished his career in 1971, he had broken nearly every Alabama receiving record.
Tom Mattingly, a UT football historian once recalled an exchange that occurred in the midst of the 1970 Alabama–Tennessee game: In 1970, Tennessee intercepted eight Alabama passes, five off Scott Hunter. That prompted Tide receiver David Bailey to look at quarterback Scott Hunter and say, perhaps in jest, perhaps not, “This time, throw the ball to them, and I’ll see if I can intercept it.”
Bailey finished the game with 12 receptions, a single game record that stood until DJ Hall broke it in 2007. Despite playing over 40 years ago, his name still appears 20 times in the Alabama record book. While not the most familiar name among Alabama fans, David Bailey has certainly earned his spot among the BamaHammer Players Championship.
Which player advances to the next round?
- David Bailey (11%, 10 Votes)
- Antonio Langham (89%, 79 Votes)
Total Voters: 89