Our tournament to crown the greatest Alabama Crimson Tide football player of all time saw a surprising upset last week, as fan favorite Ozzie Newsome went down to Dennis Homan. Every vote counts, people.
This week matches up to players that had trouble off the field of play; a stud RB from the Perkins era and a Saban protegé. Which player goes to the divisional semifinals? It’s up to you.
Saban Division – Running Backs vs. Linebackers
Bobby Humphrey (1985-1988)
Running Back – Birmingham, Alabama
6’1’’, 200 lbs
Career Statistics: 3,420 Rushing Yards, 523 Receiving Yards, 40 Total TDs
The Post-Bryant era in the mid 80’s was certainly a transition period for Alabama football, but that era produced some of the best players in Alabama history; among them Bobby Humphrey. The running back from Birmingham played four years with the Crimson Tide, and achieved All-American honors in 1986 and 1987, and was chosen as the Offensive Player of the Decade.
In 1986, Humphrey set the Alabama all-time single-season rushing record with 1,471 yards from scrimmage as a sophomore. He followed up that season with an impressive year, racking up 1,255 yards, and would eventually set the school record for career rushing yards with 3,420.
He certainly would have shattered the record had it not been for a season-ending foot fracture his senior season. His record was broken by Shaun Alexander in 1999. Humphrey was selected first overall in the NFL’s supplemental draft by the Denver Broncos in 1989 and also played for the Miami Dolphins. Bobby Humphrey’s numbers speak for themselves, and he is perhaps one of the most underrated players in Alabama football history.
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 (41%, 29 Votes)
- Bobby Humphrey (59%, 42 Votes)
Total Voters: 71