RB Mark Ingram is participating in his pro day at Alabama on Wednesday, looking to follow in the footsteps in another former Crimson Tide back who made it big in the NFL — Shaun Alexander. But Alabama is more known for its quarterbacks that it has churned out.
And they have had some great ones with two Hall of Famers, and another who deserves consideration. But not to throw out any spoilers, however, it was another position that produced the greatest NFL player to play at Alabama.
Here are the top six.
Also considered: LB Derrick Thomas. You have quite a nice list of alumni when one of the best linebackers of his era misses out on this list.
6. TE Ozzie Newsome
Before becoming one of the league’s best personnel men, Newsome was a three-time Pro Bowl player for the Browns and a member of the 1980s all-decade team.
5. QB Ken Stabler
Stabler was the fastest quarterback in NFL history to win 100 games, and was a member of the NFL’s all-1970s decade team. But he is the only quarterback from that team (the others, Roger Staubach and Terry Bradshaw) not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
4. T John Hannah
Hannah was labeled the best lineman of all-time by Sports Illustrated, and who is to argue? Hannah was selected to nine Pro Bowls and is a member of the 1970s and 1980s all-decade teams.
3. QB Joe Namath
There are not many other schools that would push Namath down to No. 3, I can guarantee that. Namath famously led the Jets to a win in Super Bowl III, and he also tossed for 4,007 yards (in 14 games) in 1967. Shaky knees prevented him from even bigger numbers.
2. QB Bart Starr
Starr was the director of the famed Packers dynasty and the MVP of the first two Super Bowls. Starr excelled when it mattered most, scoring a 104.8 passer rating and a 9-1 mark in the playoffs.
1. WR Don Hutson
Hutson is arguably the greatest player in NFL history, and often credited with creating pass routes. No player dominated his competition like Hutson, who retired with nearly every receiving record. His 99 receiving touchdowns lasted for 44 years before being broken by Steve Largent in 1989, and since passed by Jerry Rice. Hutson still holds some notable NFL marks for most seasons leading the league in receptions (8), most consecutive seasons leading the league in receptions (5) and most seasons leading the league with receiving touchdowns (9)