The Best Alabama Crimson Tide Football Players of All Time

Over 7.6K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best Alabama Crimson Tide Football Players of All Time
Voting Rules
Upvote your favorite University of Alabama football players. No coaches should be included. Neither should Forrest Gump

This list ranks the best Alabama Crimson Tide players of all time. Football is a way of life in Alabama. The state is home to two of the most famous schools in NCAA history: Auburn and Alabama. The latter is one of the most recognized programs in the sport and recently has dominated college football behind some of the best players in school history. The football program started in 1892 and has established itself as one of the most iconic names in sports. Alabama has won 15 national championships and those teams featured some of the best players in Crimson Tide history. Many of Alabama's greatest players went onto achieve success in the NFL, including future Pro Football Hall of Famers like John Hannah, Ozzie Newsome and Derrick Thomas. Surprisingly, with the school's rich history of having a roster full of outstanding players, curiously has only one Heisman Trophy in its cabinet. In 2009, Mark Ingram barely nudged past Stanford running back Toby Gerhart to take the trophy back to Tuscaloosa. 

In recent years, a good number of Alabama players have gone on to play in the NFL. Under the stewardship of Nick Saban, Alabama is going through its greatest stretch since the legendary Bear Bryant was at the helm. Needless to say, you won't find too many Alabama fans who are disappointed in the school's recent past.

This is the list of the best Bama Crimson Tide players of all time. If you notice someone is missing from the list, feel free to add him. Vote or rerank the list according to who you think is the greatest Alabama football player ever.
Most divisive: Don McNeal
Ranked by
  • Derrick Thomas
    3,137 votes
    • Birthplace: Miami, Florida
    • Teams: Alabama Crimson Tide Football, Kansas City Chiefs

    An awe-inspiring force on the field, Derrick Thomas boasted a unique combination of speed, agility, and sheer power that struck fear into the hearts of opposing quarterbacks throughout his tenure as an Alabama linebacker. His relentless pursuit of the passer not only secured his place in Crimson Tide lore but also revolutionized the way defenses attack the quarterback. As a trailblazer in the annals of college football, Thomas's legacy is immortalized by the countless defenders who have since attempted to emulate his ferocious style of play.

  • Derrick Henry
    Running back
    2,799 votes
    • Birthplace: Yulee, Florida
    • Teams: Tennessee Titans

    Dominance embodied, Derrick Henry trampled defensive lines with his thunderous blend of crushing power and breakaway speed, while a ball carrier for Alabama's storied offense. Leaving a wake of battered defenders in his path, Henry's bruising running style took its toll on opponents as games wore on, wearing them down physically and mentally until they could no longer contain him. Few players in the history of college football managed to so thoroughly demoralize their opposition as this Herculean back, whose bone-crushing runs are now the stuff of Crimson Tide legend.

  • Julio Jones
    Wide receiver
    3,824 votes
    • Birthplace: Foley, Alabama
    • Teams: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    A veritable athletic phenomenon, Julio Jones possessed every attribute a team could ask for in a wide receiver, making him an unstoppable force in Alabama's high-powered offense. With his unrivaled blend of size, speed, and leaping ability, Jones tormented opposing defensive backs by effortlessly snatching passes out of the air and refusing to be taken down once the ball was in his hands. To this day, his scintillating displays of pure athleticism continue to inspire generations of young pass catchers hoping to follow in his footsteps.

  • Bart Starr
    2,132 votes
    • Birthplace: Montgomery, Alabama
    • Teams: Green Bay Packers

    The consummate field general, Bart Starr led Alabama with precision, poise, and unparalleled intelligence from his perch under center. Calm and unflappable in the huddle, Starr mastered the art of reading defenses, picking apart holes in coverage with his pinpoint accuracy and lightning-fast decision-making. His legendary leadership and tactical acumen helped lay the foundation for the Crimson Tide's storied tradition of quarterback excellence.

  • Joe Namath
    3,355 votes
    • Birthplace: Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, USA
    • Teams: New York Jets, Los Angeles Rams

    Oozing with charisma and confidence, Joe Namath's seemingly divine ability to throw the football captivated fans and bewildered opponents every time he stepped onto the field at Alabama. His penchant for making high-pressure passing plays under the most intense scrutiny transformed him into a larger-than-life icon, transcending the sport itself. Few quarterbacks in the annals of college football have ever matched "Broadway Joe" in terms of sheer magnetism and raw talent.

  • Minkah Fitzpatick

    Minkah Fitzpatick

    Defensive back
    1,372 votes
    • Birthplace: New Brunswick, New Jersey
    • Teams: Pittsburgh Steelers

    A defensive chameleon, Minkah Fitzpatrick seamlessly blended exceptional speed, natural instincts, and textbook fundamentals as a defensive back for Alabama. With the rare ability to cover nearly every position in the secondary, Fitzpatrick made life miserable for opposing quarterbacks, who could never be sure where he'd strike from next. His versatility and uncanny knack for making game-changing plays cemented his status as one of the most feared defenders in Crimson Tide history.