It’s time once again to vote in our tournament to crown the greatest Alabama Crimson Tide football player of all time. The first round matchups are almost complete, and today’s pits one of Alabama’s legends against a modern star.
Saban Division – Running Backs vs. Linebackers
Johnny “Mack” Brown (1923-1926)
Running Back – Dothan, Alabama
Career Statistics: Unavailable
Johnny “Mack” Brown has a very significant place in Alabama history. A gifted athlete for his time, he was an All-Conference and an All-American halfback in 1926. In high school his unique athletic ability earned him the nickname “The Dothan Antelope.” He played initially under Xen Scott, but it was under Wallace Wade’s tutelage that Brown reached his full potential.
Brown’s legacy is etched into Crimson Tide lore as being a member of Alabama’s national championship team in 1926. The Tide played the Washington Huskies in the Rose Bowl, and Brown had two of the team’s three touchdowns in a come-from-behind victory. His two touchdown receptions of 59 and 27 yards earned him Most Valuable player honors.
This game was part of the inspiration for the Alabama Fight Song, which makes Johnny “Mack” Brown’s contribution to Alabama’s legacy singularly unique. He helped pave the way for Alabama’s great tradition, as well as putting southern football in the national spotlight.
Rolando McClain (2007-2009)
6’4’’ 258 lbs
Linebacker – Athens, Alabama
Stats: 275 Tackles, 8 Sacks, 5 INTs
Rolando McClain anchored on of the best defenses in Alabama history his junior year as the Crimson Tide won the 2009 national championship against Texas in the Rose Bowl. He is generally considered one of the smartest linebackers that ever played at the Capstone, as his football instincts were second to none, and he was an extension of coach Nick Saban on the field.
McClain is one of the most decorated players to ever play for Alabama. In 2009, he was a unanimous All-American, a First Team All-SEC selection, the Lambert Award winner, and the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. He is the only player other than Derrick Thomas to win the Butkus Award for Alabama, which is given to the best linebacker in the country.
Rolando McClain was drafted by the Oakland Raiders with the 8th overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft. He was the highest Alabama draft pick since Keith McCants went fourth in 1990. McClain’s legacy as a field general still resonates among ‘Bama fans, and he is indeed the model example of how the middle linebacker position should be played. He is one of the very best players to ever adorn the Crimson jersey.
Which player advances to the next round?
- Rolando McClain (60%, 64 Votes)
- Johnny 'Mack' Brown (40%, 43 Votes)
Total Voters: 107