The Division Finals are almost set in our tournament to crown the greatest Alabama Crimson Tide football player of all time. Today’s pairing is a doozy; it pits two fan favorites against each other, with only one advancing to the Saban Division Finals. Every single vote counts, so tell a friend.
Saban Division – Running Backs vs. Linebackers
Trent Richardson (2009-2011)
Running Back – Pensacola, FL
5’11” 225 lbs
Career Statistics: 3130 Rushing Yards, 730 Receiving Yards, 43 Total TDs
Trent Richardson has to be considered one of the best running backs, not only from the University of Alabama, but in the history of college football. Trent’s rare blend of size, speed, strength and quickness was second to none. He was a part of the best running back tandem in the history of the Tide, as he shared time with Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram from 2009-2010.
Richardson was an All-American in 2011 after finishing third in the Heisman voting. That year, he broke Mark Ingram’s Alabama single-season rushing record with 1,679 rushing yards as he helped lead the Crimson Tide to their 14th National Championship with a 21-0 victory over LSU. Richardson also won the Doak Walker Award for the first time in Alabama history, which is given to the country’s top running back.
Richardson was selected third overall by the Cleveland Browns in the 2012 NFL Draft. He boasts two national championships during his tenure at the Capstone, and is generally regarded as one of the hardest-working individuals to ever come through the Alabama program. Not many players have played at ‘Bama with expectations as high as Trent had coming in; even fewer were able to meet and exceed them the way Richardson did.
Cornelius Bennett (1983-1986)
6’3’’ 240 lbs
Linebacker – Birmingham, Alabama
Stats: 287 Tackles, 21 ½ Sacks, 2 Fumble Recoveries
Cornelius Bennett was one of the fiercest and talented defensive players in Alabama history. He is one of two Crimson Tide players to ever be selected to three All-America teams in his career (the other being Woodrow Lowe). He was selected as the SEC Defensive player of the year in 1986, and also won the Lombardi Award, the only Alabama player at the time to ever win the award.
Perhaps what Bennett is most remembered for by Crimson Tide fans is his bone-crushing hit on Notre Dame’s quarterback Steve Beuerlein, a hit that is still seen in pre-game clips at Bryant-Denny, and in the famous Daniel Moore painting entitled “The Sack.” Bennett was selected as an Alabama All-Decade member, and he was also named to Alabama’s Team of the Century in 1992.
Cornelius Bennett was selected with the second overall pick in the 1987 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. In 2005, he was elected into the College Football Hall of Fame in Southbend, Indiana. While his hit on Beuerlein resonates as one of the greatest single plays in Alabama history, Bennett is remembered more for his overall impact on the game, and indeed one of the finest defensive players to ever play college football.
Which player advances to the next round?
- Cornelius Bennett (54%, 62 Votes)
- Trent Richardson (46%, 52 Votes)
Total Voters: 114