BamaHammer Players Championship Divisional Finals: Barrett Jones (2) vs. John Copeland (5)


Voting remains open on our other divisional matchup, but in the meantime we’re opening the polls on our final matchup in the Stallings division, and it’s a big one; a pairing of one of the Crimson Tide’s great defensive linemen and perhaps its greatest offensive lineman. Get your votes in now.

Stallings Division – D. Line vs. O. Line

Barrett Jones (2008-2012)

Offensive Lineman – Germantown, Tenn.
6’5”, 311 lbs

If this players championship was based solely off of a player’s winning record, Barrett Jones would probably be your runaway champion. Since Jones became a full-time starter during his redshirt freshman season in 2009, the Tide have compiled an overall record of 49-5. He won his third national championship in four years this past season to cap off a near-perfect career with the Crimson Tide — from a winning standpoint at least.

While winning is obviously important, Jones’ resume extends far beyond the win-loss column. In his best two seasons in 2011 and 2012, Jones was a two-time All-SEC and All-American selection (unanimous in ’11), claiming some of the nation’s top awards in the Outland Trophy and Rimington Trophy in the process. He is one of only two players in college football history to win both awards in a career.

Though his accomplishments speak for themselves, his versatility on the field speaks louder. Plenty of great players have won multiple championships and numerous awards during their career, but how many have done so at multiple positions? In 49 career starts, Jones has started 25 at right guard in 2009-2010, 11 at left tackle in 2011 and 13 at center in 2012, playing just as well, if not better, with every position change. Body of work alone, it’s hard not to like Barrett Jones.

John Copeland (1991-1992)

Defensive End – Lanett, Ala.
6’3”, 261 lbs
Career Statistics: 130 tackles (36.5 for loss), 17.5 sacks, 36 quarterback hurries

Along with fellow defensive end Eric Curry, John Copeland made up one half of possibly the greatest defensive end tandem in college football history.

Copeland arrived at The University of Alabama in 1991 after beginning his college career at Hinds Community College in Raymond, Miss., and his presence was immediately felt. After a 7-5 season the previous year in 1990, Copeland helped lead the Crimson Tide to an 11-1 season during his first season in 1991. He helped anchor a defense that allowed only 4 rushing touchdowns all season.

But it was the 1992 season where Copeland’s money was made, where as a unanimous All-SEC and a consensus All-American, he helped take the Tide one step further. That year the Tide finished the season as undefeated national champions following a 34-13 win over the Miami Hurricanes in the Sugar Bowl. In the process, the 13-0 Tide also defeated the Florida Gators in the first-ever SEC Championship game.

Copeland finished that season with 10.5 sacks, tying him for fourth all-time in the Alabama record book for sacks in a season along with Curry, who also had 10.5 sacks in 1992. His 21.5 tackles for loss rank him third all-time for a season in Tide history.

The No. 1 ranked Tide defense allowed only 660 total yards on the ground, including only 55.0 rushing yards per game and 1.67 rushing yards per play in 1992. As a defense, they gave up just 3.21 yards per play.