Alabama Football: Top 10 Running Backs During Saban Era

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 01: Bo Scarbrough
NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 01: Bo Scarbrough /
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Alabama football coach, Nick Saban
Alabama football coach, Nick Saban /

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Alabama football has experienced its share of all-time great running backs with players such as Shaun Alexander, Bobby Humphrey, Siran Stacy, Derrick Lassic, and Sherman Williams. Alabama football coach Nick Saban’s offensive philosophy demands efficiently running the football. This approach led to two Heisman Award winners.

Alabama football has been fortunate the runners Saban have recruited have panned out.  Former running backs coach Burton Burns was the facilitator in ensuring that the backs reached their full potential.

The running back’s value in the NFL has steadily declined. However, this is not the case in Tuscaloosa. Recruits understand that if they play at Alabama, they are running behind road pavers that allow them to run to daylight plus a bonus of playing for an offensive coordinator that will feed the beast.

Before Saban’s arrival in 2007, Alabama’s last big-time running back was the notable Shaun Alexander.  The former Seattle Seahawk would have a prosperous NFL career which included NFL MVP.

Although Alabama football lays claim to twelve national championships before Saban’s arrival, the Heisman Trophy never graced the Hall of Champions in the Mal Moore athletic facility.  Two running backs brought the coveted trophy to Tuscaloosa under Saban. Three backs were named first-team All-Americans under the tutelage of Burton Burns.  Again, a feat not accomplished since Alexander’s distinction in 1999.

Criteria for the rankings were team impact, statistics, and hardware. Narrowly missing the cut are Jalston Fowler, Terry Grant, and Joshua Jacobs.