University of Alabama football has been traditionally fielding some of the best football players in the nation and most of them have gone on to become consummate professionals after graduating from college.
In addition to the number of individuals who were recognized not only for being great college athletes, but also for becoming great players in the NFL. Among them are these five Crimson Tide football players who went on to have Hall-of-Fame careers in the pros, which helped to further Alabama’s cause in football recruiting.
5 Greatest Alabama Crimson Tide Football Grads
Now when some of the best prospects in the nation come to ‘Bama, they can look up to these great Crimson Tide graduates:
Though Kenny Stabler is best known for his years with the Oakland Raiders, he led Alabama to a 28-3-2 record as a starter and nearly brought home a national championship.
His claim to fame as a Crimson Tide was when he scored the game-winning touchdown in the 1967 Iron Bowl after breaking free for a 53-yard scoot that’s known as “The Run in the Mud.”
Then, Stabler led the Raiders to their first-ever Super Bowl win in 1977 (Super Bowl XI) and was also the NFL passing champion in 1976. Stabler hit the 100-win mark faster than any quarterback before him in his 150th NFL game. (Previous fastest was Johnny Unitas, who won his 100th in his 153rd game.)
Joe Namath created his legend in the pro football world with an MVP performance of his own in Super Bowl III.
Broadway Joe led the Jets to a 16-7 victory over the Baltimore Colts after guaranteeing a win. Yet, not many people know he was also a legend in college football, most notably in Alabama.
Bear Bryant once called Joe Namath the greatest athlete he’d ever coached. In his three years as the team’s quarterback, Namath led Alabama to a 29-4 record and the 1964 national championship. With Namath’s freedom-loving attitude and Bryant’s coaching iron fist, the two formed one of the most unique duos in college football history.
Also in the NFL, Namath was the first quarterback ever to throw for over 4,000 yards in a single season. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985.
Ozzie Newsome or “The Wizard of Oz” was one of the greatest players ever to take the field for the Crimson Tide.
He holds first place for career yards per catch with 20.3. It’s hard enough to set records at Alabama, much less have them stand for almost 40 years.
Newsome was one of the greatest TEs in the history of the NFL. Two records he still holds for the Browns are 662 career receptions and 7,980 receiving yards.
Newsome also went on to earn spots in both the College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame.
John Hannah is considered one of the greatest, if not the greatest, offensive linemen in the history of the game. He was a two-time All-American at Alabama in 1971 and 1972.
Hannah was named an All-Pro a mind-numbing 10 straight years (1976-1985) during his 13-year career. In 1978, he and the rest of his offensive line blew up the opposition en route to an NFL-record 3,165 rushing yards for their backs.
Yes, that record still stands…33 years later.
He was named to the Alabama All-Century Team and inducted into the College Football and Pro Football Hall of Fame. Bear Bryant called him the greatest lineman he ever coached.
Don Hutson was the original wide receiver, running routes in his day that wouldn’t be called “routes” for quite some time.
Hutson’s name is still etched in the NFL Record Book 13 times and he retired in 1945. Records that still stand include the following:
1) Most consecutive seasons leading league in scoring: 5
2) Most points scored in a quarter: 29
3) Most seasons leading league in receiving touchdowns: 9
Hutson, or the Alabama Antelope, was a game-changing player at his position. Now that everybody has a stack of WRs, the odds of one standing out like Hutson ever again are minimal.
Huston was one of the greatest pass-catchers in football history, and many credit him as not just the first star receiver in the NFL, but the first modern receiver period. An All-American in 1934, Huston went off for 165 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the 1935 Rose Bowl to give coach Frank Thomas his first national championship. Hutson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963.
Who are other Crimson Tide greats which you think are on this list? Be sure to check out the latest odds and lines for the next game of Alabama and other college teams in our sportsbook. Game On!
More on the Crimson Tide:
- 5 Greatest Alabama Football Alumni
- 10 Facts Every Crimson Tide Fan Should Know
- 4 Games a Crimson Tide Fan Won't Want to Miss
- Alabama Crimson Tide: Bitter Rivalries
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