Top 25 Alabama Crimson Tide players of the decade
Trying to rank the Top 25 Alabama Crimson Tide players of the decade is a daunting task, as it can as easily be argued that player No. 25 could well be No. 1 not only on this list but the list of any other SEC program.
Throughout the Crimson Tide’s decade of dominance, Alabama’s numbers are staggering:
- 114-15, an .884 winning percentage
- 35 players winning 38 1st-team All-American honors, with Mark Barron, Barrett Jones and Minkah Fitzpatrick each being honored twice
- 34 offensive players taken in the NFL Draft
- 5 SEC championships
- 4 national championships
Away we go!
No. 25: Trent Richardson, running back
Put together a Heisman-worthy season in 2011 (he finished 3rd), going for 1,679 yards on 283 carries and 21 touchdowns.
No. 24: Dee Milliner, defensive back
Milliner started 11 of 13 games as a true freshman in 2010, then started all 12 as a junior in 2012 en route to a 2nd consecutive national title. He made 88 solo tackles and 133 total stops in his career.
No. 23: Mark Barron, free safety
Barron started his final 39 games at Alabama en route to All-American honors in 2010 and 2011. He finished with 88 solo tackles, 237 total tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 5 sacks and 12 interceptions.
No. 22: AJ McCarron, quarterback
McCarron was an All-American in 2013 and won a national title as a starting QB in 2012. He finished with a program-record 9,019 passing yards and 77 touchdown passes in his 3 seasons as a starter.
No. 21: Henry Ruggs III, wide receiver
Ruggs would be a Top 10 lock on the 13 other SEC teams, as he caught 98 passes for 1,716 yards and 24 touchdowns in his 3-year career at Alabama.
No. 20: DeVonta Smith, wide receiver
Smith broke school records for single-game receptions (11), single game receiving yards (274) and single-game receiving TDs (5), and will head to the NFL with 118 catches for 2,109 yards and 23 TDs.
No. 19: Cam Robinson, offensive lineman
Robinson started all 14 games as a true freshman, the first true freshman to do so since Andre Smith in 2006. Over 861 total snaps in his 3-year career, Robinson gave up just 3 QB sacks.
No. 18: Chance Warmack, offensive lineman
Started all 13 games as a sophomore in 2010, all 13 as a junior and all 13 games in winning his 3rd national championship ring.
No. 17: Reuben Foster, linebacker
The 2016 Butkus Award winner, Foster took over as starting inside linebacker as a sophomore in 2014, and as a senior in 2016 he finished with 115 tackles, 13 for losses, and 5 sacks.
No. 16: Jonah Williams, offensive lineman
An Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award finalist as a junior in 2018, Williams racked up 44 consecutive starts (29 at left tackle, 15 at right tackle).
No. 15: Courtney Upshaw, linebacker
Upshaw was named the defensive MVP of the 2011 BCS championship game win over LSU via his 7-tackle performance, which included 1 sack and 1 tackle for a loss.
No. 14: J.K. Scott, punter
Arguably the best punter in college football history to not win the Ray Guy Award, Scott averaged 45.6 yards per punt and 30 punts inside the 20 during his career.
No. 13: Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix, strong safety
Starting 19 of the 38 games he played in during his 3 seasons at Alabama, Clinton-Dix led Alabama with 5 interceptions in 2012 as a sophomore and was 1st-team All-SEC as a junior.
No. 12: O.J. Howard, tight end
As a junior in 2015, Howard had 38 catches for 602 yards and 2 touchdowns. As a senior in 2016, he had 45 receptions for 595 yards and 3 TDs.
No. 11: Jerry Jeudy, wide receiver
Jeudy totaled 159 career grabs for 2,742 receiving yards and 26 touchdowns, including an insane 63 catches for 1,315 yards and 14 touchdowns as a sophomore.
No. 10: C.J. Mosley, linebacker
Mosley was a beast for 3 years in the Alabama defense, recording 175 solo tackles and 317 total tackles from 2010-2013.
No. 9: Barrett Jones, offensive lineman
Besides being the only Alabama player in a decade to be an All-American at 2 positions, Barrett won the 2011 Outland Trophy and the 2012 Rimington Trophy — only the 2nd person in history to win both an Outland and a Rimington.
No. 8: Julio Jones, wide receiver
Even with 2 of his 3 seasons in Tuscaloosa coming in the previous decade, Jones was so good that he needed only 1 year in this decade to make the team. As a junior in 2010, Jones caught 78 passes for 1,133 yards and 7 touchdowns.
No. 7: Jonathan Allen, defensive end
Allen won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Chuck Bednarik Award and Ted Hendricks Award, was a finalist for the Lombardi Award, the Walter Camp Player of the Year and Lott IMPACT Trophy and finished 7th in the Heisman Trophy voting in 2016.
No. 6: Amari Cooper, wide receiver
Holds the school records for receptions (228), single-season yards (1,727, on an insane SEC-record 124 receptions in 2014), career yards (3,463) and receiving touchdowns (31). Simply put, Cooper was a machine for Alabama during his tenure.
No. 5: Quinnen Williams, nose tackle
With 56 solo tackles, 91 total tackles and 10 sacks in just 2 seasons in the middle of the Tide defense, Williams was a force during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Williams won the Outland Trophy in 2018 as the nation’s best interior lineman, as his 20 tackles for loss that season were 2nd in the SEC, and his 8 sacks were tied for 6th in the conference.
No. 4: Dont’a Hightower, linebacker
In the top 5 greatest Alabama linebackers not named Derrick Thomas, Hightower started 43 of the 45 games he was healthy for during his time in Tuscaloosa. As a junior in 2010, Hightower made 30 solo tackles and 70 total tackles, and as a senior in 2011 he made 40 solo tackles, 85 total tackles, 11 tackles for loss and 4 sacks.
No. 3: Derrick Henry, running back
Where else but Alabama could a Heisman Trophy winner place 3rd? Henry won the school’s 2nd Heisman Trophy (Mark Ingram, 2009) as part of a national championship season in 2015 — a season that saw Henry rush for an SEC-record 2,219 yards on 395 attempts. Henry also rushed for a school-record 28 TDs. Holds Alabama career rushing record with 3,591 yards on only 602 carries (Shaun Alexander went for 3,565 yards on 727 carries).
No. 2: Minkah Fitzpatrick, defensive back
Regarded as one of the top defensive backs in Alabama history, Fitzpatrick finished as the Bednarik and Thorpe award winner — the 2nd recipient of each award in Crimson Tide history, and he became just the 3rd player in NCAA history to win both awards in the same season, joining eventual NFL Hall of Famer Charles Woodson and current Arizona Cardinals All-Pro Patrick Peterson. Fitzpatrick made 110 solo tackles, 171 total stops, 16.5 tackles for loss, 5 sacks and 9 interceptions.
No. 1: Tua Tagovailoa, quarterback
Arguably the most dynamic player in Alabama history, Tagovailoa rewrote the Alabama record book during his time in Tuscaloosa. Even with his junior season cut short due to injury in 2019, Alabama’s sweet Hawaiian prince threw for 2,840 yards and 33 touchdowns. In 2018, Tagovailoa passed for 3,966 yards and 43 touchdowns (both program records) to finish as a Heisman Trophy runner-up. Ends up 3rd in career passing yards with 7,442 and 1st with 87 career TD passes despite playing less than 2 seasons as a starter.