BamaHammer Players Championship Semifinals: Don Hutson (1) vs. Barrett Jones (2)

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It was a great run for Tide quarterback AJ McCarron. He bested legendary quarterbacks like Joe Namath and Ken Stabler, but was unable to get away from defensive legend Derrick Thomas, who moves on to the finals of our tournament to crown the greatest Alabama Crimson Tide football player of all time.

Our other semifinal pairing pits McCarron’s center last season against one of the all-time legends. Vote now, as polls close tomorrow morning, and we will begin voting on on our champion.

Don Hutson (1932-1934)

Split End – Pine Bluff, AR
6′ 1″, 183 lbs
Career Statistics: College Football Stats were not well kept during this era.

Alabama Head Coach Frank Thomas once referred to Hutson as “The greatest player I’ve ever seen.” Hutson helped lead Alabama to the 1934 national championship with a 6-catch, 165-yard, 2-touchdown performance against Stanford in the Rose Bowl. Hutson was named All-SEC and Consensus All-American in 1934.

Despite playing in an era in which stats were poorly kept, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest wide receivers to set foot on a college football field. He is considered the father of the modern day wide receiver position due to the innovative routes he would run during games. He perfected his craft through long practices. Hutson was once quoted as saying, ”For every pass I caught in a game, I caught a thousand passes in practice.”

Upon his death in 1997, the New York Times referred to him as “Perhaps the best wide receiver in college and professional football history.” He is a member of Alabama All-Century Team, and the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. He was also an inaugural member of the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951.

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.