Our quest to crown the greatest football player in Alabama Crimson Tide history continues today. Defense dominated offense in our last poll; let’s see if this is a trend.
Saban Division – Running Backs vs. Linebackers
Shaun Alexander (1996-1999)
Running Back – Florence, Kentucky.
5’11”, 235 lbs
Career Statistics: 3,565 Rushing Yards, 40 TDs, 792 Receiving Yards, 8 TDs
Shaun Alexander is one of the best running backs in the modern era of Alabama football. He set several records for the Crimson Tide in his four year career at the Capstone, including the all-time rushing record (3,565), total carries (727), rushing touchdowns (41), and touchdowns in a game (5).
In 1996 he broke the single game rushing record in Alabama history against LSU as a redshirt freshman, gashing the Tigers for 291 yards. Alexander was instrumental in the comeback in 1999 versus Auburn that led to a 28-17 victory in which Shaun scored three touchdowns. He also helped the Tide to the SEC Championship that year after beating Florida 34-7 for the second time in one year.
Shaun was selected in the 2000 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks with the 19th overall pick. He had a great NFL career including rushing records and an MVP award. While he is not decorated with any All-American distinctions (mostly due to injury his senior year), Alexander’s numbers speak for themselves, and ended up setting 15 total records by the time he left Tuscaloosa.
Lee Roy Jordan (1960-1962)
Linebacker – Excel, AL.
Lee Roy Jordan was considered one of the best middle linebackers in Alabama history. He was a two-way player for the Tide, as he also played center. He finished 4th in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1962, and was selected to the All-America Team twice in his college career. Jordan was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1980.
Jordan was named the MVP of the BlueBonnet bowl after a 3-3 tie against the Longhorns of Texas. His second bowl game MVP came against Oklahoma in the 1963 Orange Bowl, where he had an astounding 31 tackles. He garnered much praise from Paul “Bear” Bryant, and he was quoted as saying, “He was one of the finest football players the world has ever seen.”
Jordan was named the Player of the Decade for the 1960’s, and was eventually inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983. Lee Roy was selected in the first round of the 1963 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys, where he played for 14 years and was a Pro Bowler five times. Lee Roy Jordan remains one of the great impact players of the golden age of Crimson Tide football.
Which player advances to the next round?
- Lee Roy Jordan (68%, 63 Votes)
- Shaun Alexander (32%, 30 Votes)
Total Voters: 93