The University of Alabama possesses an incredibly illustrious football history. The program has the third-most National Championships (16) of any school — trailing only Yale (27) and Princeton (28). While the Crimson Tide has traditionally performed wonderfully as a team, it’s also churned out some wildly talented individuals.
This piece will look at the Top 26 players to have played at the school. The list is primarily based upon both their collegiate and professional performances.
26. Riley Smith
Smith was a do-everything competitor during his career — both with Alabama and with the Washington Redskins. Inexplicably, the 6’2″ athlete functioned as a quarterback, blocker, punter, and kicker. A member on the 1935 Rose Bowl-winning team, Smith was a first-team All-American — which also included being named as the Jacobs Blocking Trophy winner (recognizing the best blocker in the SEC). Drafted No. 2 Overall in the 1935 draft, Smith played two seasons before his career was cut short due to injury.
Image Source: Remember The Rose Bowl
25. Dixie Howell
Howell forever endeared himself to the Alabama faithful after a spectacular performance in the 1935 Rose Bowl contest versus Stanford. Though he was a spectacular fullback/punter, Howell threw two touchdowns and ran for one more score during the Crimson Tide’s 29-13 victory. Relying primarily on quickness and elusiveness, Howell starred at only 160 pounds. The consensus All-American won the SEC Player of the Year Award during his senior campaign. Though Howell didn’t have a professional career as a football player, he played minor league baseball before transitioning to the coaching realm. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1970.
Image Source: AL.com
24. Johnny Musso
Before the names of Henry, Alexander, Ingram Jr., Richardson, Humphrey, and Lacy, there was Musso. The 5’11”, 201-pound back starred for the Crimson Tide out of the Wishbone formation. As a senior, Musso accrued 16 touchdowns. He also led the SEC in rushing for two-straight seasons (1970-71). As a senior, he became an All-American — as well as the recipient of the SEC Player of the Year Award. Musso ran much bigger than his size indicated. He routinely bounced off defenders once the initial contact was made. By the time he left Alabama, Musso was the school’s all-time rushing leader (though now he ranks sixth in this category). He was elected into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2000.
Image Source: Alchetron