We continue in our quest to crown the greatest Alabama Crimson Tide football player of all time with a fan favorite from the golden age, and a member of the Saban run of greatness. Your vote counts, as the first round is almost complete.
Bryant Division – Quarterbacks vs. Special Teams
Kenny Stabler (1965-1967)
Quarterback – Foley, Alabama
6’3”, 215 lbs
Career: 2196 passing yards, 18 passing touchdowns, 838 rushing yards, 9 rushing touchdowns
Ken “The Snake” Stabler came into the 1965 season as the number three quarterback. He played sparingly behind our 7th-seeded Steve Sloan. When Sloan left, Stabler made the most of his time with Coach Bryant and the Tide. Stabler led Alabama to an 11-0 record his junior year while finishing with 12 total touchdowns and a QB rating of 152.6. This led to high expectations for Stabler’s senior season, which ended up being considered mediocre for a Bear Bryant team.
Stabler had a roller coaster ride in his senior season. The Tide finished with an 8-2-1 record, including a loss to the hated Tennessee Volunteers. Stabler was kicked off the team by Coach Bryant for cutting classes and partying. However, he was given a second chance and now Stabler’s great career with Alabama comes down to two things: his 28-3-2 record, 19-2-1 as a starter, with the Tide and his “Run in the Mud.” One of the greatest plays in Alabama football history came from Stabler in the 1967 Iron Bowl. His 53-yard scamper on a rain-drenched Legion Field gave Alabama a 7-3 victory over Auburn in the final game of the season.
Marquis Maze (2008-2011)
Returner/Wide Receiver – Birmingham, Alabama
5’10″, 180 lbs
Career: 711 punt return yards, 12.7 punt return average, 86-yard punt return for TD
Over the course of Maze’s four years at Alabama, he became a go-to receiver for Greg McElroy and AJ McCarron. However, his ability to return kicks is why he is in this tournament. Maze returned kicks and punts for the last two years in Tuscaloosa. He only had a chance to return 20 kickoffs during his career, and although he never returned one for a touchdown, he has the third-highest kickoff return average in Alabama history with 28.3 yards per return.
His punt returning ability is what makes him one of the best return men in the history of the Tide. He is only behind Javier Arenas in career punt return average with 12.7 yards per return. Maze also has one of the most memorable returns with his 83-yard return for a touchdown against Arkansas. He broke seven tackles along the way and it gave Alabama a 24-7 lead.
Which player advances to the next round?
- Marquis Maze (21%, 21 Votes)
- Kenny Stabler (79%, 77 Votes)
Total Voters: 98