Alabama Football: Crimson Tide All-Decade Team

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Alabama football
TAMPA, FL – JANUARY 09: Tight end O.J. Howard #88 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates after scoring a 68-yard touchdown during the third quarter against the Clemson Tigers in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

Tight End (O.J. Howard)

Offensive philosophy changed so much in Tuscaloosa that a guy like Michael Williams (who I view as the prototypical ‘Bama tight end) isn’t as relevant anymore. When you talk about pure athleticism and the ability to be a sixth offensive lineman in jumbo packages, Howard has to be the guy.

While famously underutilized under the Lane Kiffin regime, the dude was so good that he made going unnoticed look like the most egregious defensive breakdowns. Obviously, one only needs to watch the 2016 College Football Championship against Clemson to realize this. That evening, Howard won Offensive MVP, catching five passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns. Even when was being guarded he turned small gains into big ones. Like Amari Cooper, O.J. Howard was the thruway from Alabama football of yore to today.

Honorable Mention: Irv Smith, Jr.

Offensive Tackles (Left-Jonah Williams, Right-Jedrick Wills, Jr.)

Before Wills’ 2019 campaign at right tackle, I was set on having Cam Robinson at LT and moving Jonah back right (as they played in 2016), but Wills is the nastiest tackle the Tide has seen in awhile. And it wasn’t just about technique with Wills, either. Dude is straight-up mean. Most pundits are going to say that this translates perfectly to a NFL guard, but Jedrick showed plenty of athleticism this season to debunk that notion.

And what is there left to say about Jonah Williams? While not the prototypical blind side protector on the left side of the line, no lineman was more studied and, dare I say, cerebral than Williams. His technique, footwork and toughness were off the charts in his three years as a starter. He held at bay some of the best pass rushers the Power Five had to offer and he did it very well.

Honorable Mention: Left-Cam Robinson, Right-D.J. Fluker