Alabama Roots: 100 greatest football players — 2023 season update

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Antonio Langham did not appear on last year’s list of the 100 greatest football players with Alabama roots. But on this year’s list, he’s No. 44.

Langham hasn’t played in a football game since Dec. 24, 2000. What happened to change his ranking in the past year?

Langham received one of the biggest honors in the sport when he was chosen for the College Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2024.

The AL.com list of Alabama’s greatest 100 football players has received an update to include the 2023 season in its roll call of stars who played at state high schools and colleges, and Langham’s accolade was the most prestigious earned since the list’s update for the 2022 campaign.

The list of 100 players isn’t an attempt to identify the best player or the most talented player with Alabama football roots. It is intended to highlight the players who have had the greatest careers as judged by their accumulation of accolades.

The 100 Greatest list is determined by assigning a point value to a variety of honors, with membership in the Pro Football Hall of Fame or the College Football Hall of Fame carrying the most weight, and letting the sum of a player’s awards and achievements decide his ranking. It’s the quantity and quality of recognition that count here — the kind of big-picture accomplishments that will (or did) show up in the first few sentences of a player’s obituary and will be used to argue his place in the game’s history long after most fans can remember seeing him on the field.

The list of the 100 players from Alabama’s high schools and colleges with the greatest football careers includes 34 members of the College Football Hall of Fame, 16 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and five players who are members of both. There are eight Heisman Trophy winners, eight AFL/NFL MVPs and 24 SEC Players of the Year. The 100 players have received NFL first-team All-Pro recognition 95 times and been selected as consensus All-Americans 77 times.

Alabama’s 100 greatest football players, updated through the 2023 season, include:

Green Bay Packers end Don Hutson

Green Bay Packers end Don Hutson poses on the field after an NFL game in the 1940s.AP Photo/Robert Walsh

1. End Don Hutson (Alabama)

Hutson was a member of the inaugural classes of the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963. In 11 seasons with the Green Bay Packers, he won the NFL MVP awards for 1941 and 1942, was All-Pro eight times, became the first NFL player to score 100 touchdowns and retired as the league’s career and single-season leader in receptions, receiving yards and TD catches. He still holds nine NFL records 79 years into retirement, and, in 2019, Hutson was a unanimous selection for the NFL All-Time Team selected for the league’s centennial season. At Alabama, Hutson played on the inaugural SEC championship team in 1933 and was a consensus All-American in 1934, when the Crimson Tide went undefeated and won the Rose Bowl.

2. Guard John Hannah (Albertville High School, Alabama)

The fourth player picked in the 1973 NFL Draft after earning unanimous All-American recognition and the SEC’s Jacobs Blocking Trophy in 1972 at Alabama, Hannah spent his 13-year NFL career with the New England Patriots, earning All-Pro honors seven times and Pro Bowl recognition nine times. He went into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as soon as he became eligible in 1991, and he joined the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999. At Albertville, Hannah was an All-State player in 1968. In 2019, Hannah was selected for the NFL All-Time Team.

3. Defensive tackle Buck Buchanan (Parker High School)

Buchanan was an All-American for Grambling State in 1962, before the Kansas City Chiefs picked him with the first choice in the 1963 AFL Draft and the New York Giants picked him with the 265th choice in the NFL Draft. Buchanan went with the Chiefs and became a four-time All-Pro and was selected for eight All-Star games in his 13 seasons in the AFL and NFL with Kansas City, during which he never missed a game. Buchanan joined the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1996 and was one of the eight players in the inaugural class of the Black College Football Hall of Fame. In 2019, Buchanan was selected for the NFL All-Time Team.

4. Outside linebacker Derrick Thomas (Alabama)

After earning unanimous All-American recognition and winning the Butkus Award as the nation’s best linebacker in 1988, Thomas started an 11-year career with the Kansas City Chiefs as the fourth pick in the 1989 NFL Draft. He earned the first of his nine Pro Bowl selections and was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year that season. The next two seasons, Thomas earned All-Pro honors. He still holds the NFL single-game sack record of seven. An automobile accident that ultimately took his life ended Thomas’ career. A finalist for the NFL All-Time Team selected for the league’s centennial, Thomas was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2014.

5. Offensive tackle Walter Jones (Aliceville High School)

From Aliceville High School, Jones went to Holmes Community College. From Holmes, he went to Florida State. From FSU, he went to the NFL as the sixth player picked in the 1997 NFL Draft. From there, he went to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014 and the NFL All-Time Team in 2019. Jones was selected for the Pro Bowl in nine of his 12 seasons and was an All-Pro in 2001, 2004, 2005 and 2007. He’d started all 180 games of his NFL career at left offensive tackle for the Seattle Seahawks when a knee injury in 2008 forced him to stop playing.

6. Quarterback Cam Newton (Auburn)

Newton won the NFL MVP and Offensive Player of the Year awards and earned All-Pro recognition and his third Pro Bowl selection while leading the Carolina Panthers to the Super Bowl in 2015. Newton joined the Panthers as the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft and was the league’s Offensive Rookie of the Year that season, when he became the first rookie to reach 4,000 passing yards. The Panthers picked Newton from Auburn after he led the Tigers to the BCS national championship for the 2010 season. That year, Newton swept the major Player of the Year honors — Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Award – as well as winning the SEC Offensive Player of the Year Award, Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award and Manning Award as a consensus All-American.

7. Outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware (Auburn High School, Troy)

Ware received nine Pro Bowl invitations and earned All-Pro recognition in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011 with the Dallas Cowboys. He left the game after the 2016 season ranked eighth in NFL history with 138.5 sacks after earning a Super Bowl title with the Denver Broncos for the 2015 campaign. Ware was chosen for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his second year of eligibility. In 2019, Ware was a finalist for the NFL All-Time team. Ware was the 11th player picked in the 2005 NFL Draft. No Troy player has been drafted earlier.

8. Tight end Ozzie Newsome (Colbert County High School, Alabama)

Newsome is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the College Football Hall of Fame, the National High School Sports Hall of Fame and the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. He’s even a member of the Little League Hall of Excellence. Newsome set AHSAA records for receptions and TD catches at Colbert County High School, earned consensus All-American honors at Alabama in 1977 and went to three Pro Bowls and was a 1984 All-Pro for the Cleveland Browns. Newsome didn’t miss a game in 13 seasons with the Browns and retired as the franchise’s career leader in receptions and receiving yards — records he still holds. Newsome was a finalist for the NFL All-Time Team selected for the league centennial in 2019.

9. Wide receiver Terrell Owens (Benjamin Russell High School)

Owens ranks third in receiving yards, third in receiving touchdowns, fifth in touchdowns and eighth in receptions in NFL history. In his 15-year NFL career, Owens was selected as an All-Pro in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2007, and the six-time Pro Bowler was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame with the Class of 2018. In 2019, Owens was a finalist for the NFL All-Time Team selected for the league’s centennial.

10. Center Dwight Stephenson (Alabama)

Stephenson had been the All-Pro center for four straight seasons and a Pro Bowler for five in a row when a broken leg prematurely ended his NFL career in its eighth year. That didn’t prevent Stephenson from entering the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998 or receiving a spot on the NFL All-Time Team in 2019. In Stephenson’s three seasons as Alabama’s starting center, the Crimson Tide did not lose an SEC game, posted a 31-2 overall record and won two national titles. Stephenson won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy in 1979 as the SEC’s best blocker.

Houston Oilers outside linebacker Robert Brazile plays in an NFL game

Houston Oilers outside linebacker Robert Brazile plays in an NFL game during the 1981 season.(Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

11. Outside linebacker Robert Brazile (Vigor High School)

“Doctor Doom” spent 10 seasons as the right outside linebacker for the Houston Oilers, and not only did he not miss a game, he started all 147 during his career. He earned All-Pro honors in 1978 and 1979 and had seven Pro Bowl seasons. Brazile’s pro career started as the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1975 after he’d been an All-American at Jackson State in 1974. Named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the Class of 2018, Brazile also is a member of the Black College Football Hall of Fame.

12. Quarterback Joe Namath (Alabama)

One of the pivotal figures in pro football history, Namath’s victory guarantee and subsequent MVP performance in Super Bowl III helped legitimize the AFL-NFL merger. That capped the 1968 season, when “Broadway Joe” was the AFL MVP and All-AFL for the New York Jets. He’d already been the league’s Rookie of the Year in 1965. Namath played 13 seasons and earned All-Star recognition five times, even though he played only six complete seasons because of injuries. Namath entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985. Namath joined the Jets from Alabama, where he played on the Crimson Tide’s 1964 national championship team. In 2019, Namath was a finalist for the NFL All-Time Team.

13. Linebacker Maxie Baughan (Bessemer City High School)

The Philadelphia Eagles won the NFL championship in Baughan’s first pro season in 1960, and he earned a Pro Bowl invitation in nine of his first 10 NFL campaigns. Additionally, he was All-Pro in 1964 and 1969. Baughan also is in the College Football Hall of Fame, honored in 1988 for his career at Georgia Tech, where he was a consensus All-American in 1959. Before joining the Yellow Jackets, Baughan was an All-State player for Bessemer City.

14. Quarterback Bart Starr (Sidney Lanier High School, Alabama)

Starr was an All-American prep quarterback at Sidney Lanier in Montgomery, but he entered the NFL as a 17th round draft choice out of Alabama. When Starr and coach Vince Lombardi got together with the Packers, though, they turned Green Bay into Titletown. Starr was the quarterback for five NFL championship teams in a seven-season span. Individually, he was the NFL MVP in 1966, the MVP of the first two Super Bowls, the All-Pro QB for 1966 and a four-time Pro Bowler on his way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. In 2019, Starr was a finalist for the NFL All-Time Team.

15. Quarterback Ken Stabler (Foley High School, Alabama)

“Snake” was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016, recognizing his 15 seasons as an NFL quarterback, highlighted by his 1974 campaign, when he won the league’s MVP and Offensive Player of the Year awards and was the All-Pro QB, and his 1976 season, when he led the Oakland Raiders to the Super Bowl title and earned one of his four Pro Bowl invitations. Stabler had a 96-49-1 record as an NFL starting quarterback, played QB for Alabama’s undefeated 1966 team, and in his three seasons as a starter at Foley High School, helped the Lions to a 29-1 record, earning All-State honors as a senior in 1963.

16. Outside linebacker Cornelius Bennett (Ensley High School, Alabama)

In 14 seasons as an NFL starter, Bennett played in five Super Bowls, earned All-Pro recognition in 1988 and was picked for the Pro Bowl five times. At Alabama, Bennett earned unanimous All-American recognition, received the Lombardi Award as the nation’s best lineman or linebacker and won the SEC Player of the Year Award in 1986. Bennett entered the College Football Hall of Fame in 2005. He started his way to the No. 2 pick in the 1987 NFL Draft as an All-State player at Ensley High School.

17. Running back Derrick Henry (Alabama)

In 2015, Henry set SEC single-season records with 2,219 rushing yards and 28 rushing touchdowns as he won the three major Player of the Year honors (Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Award), the SEC Offensive Player of the Year Award and the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s best collegiate running back while earning unanimous All-American recognition for Alabama’s 2015 CFP national-championship team. In 2020, Henry became the eighth player in NFL history with at least 2,000 rushing yards in a season as he won the league’s Offensive Player of the Year Award, earned All-Pro recognition and received his second Pro Bowl selection by topping the NFL in rushing attempts, rushing yards and rushing touchdowns for the second straight season. After a foot injury halved his 2021 season, Henry led the NFL in rushing attempts and finished second in rushing yards in 2022 and 2023, receiving Pro Bowl invitations in both seasons.

18. Running back Bo Jackson (McAdory High School, Auburn)

For all that it was, Jackson’s football career is also about what might have been. At Auburn, Jackson earned consensus All-American recognition in 1983 and unanimous All-American status in 1985, but his 1984 season was hindered by injuries. Jackson won the Heisman Trophy and Walter Camp Award and was the SEC Player of the Year in 1985 on his way to induction into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1998. He was the first player picked in the 1986 NFL Draft, but chose baseball instead, playing eight Major League seasons. Jackson returned to football as a “hobby” in 1987 and played parts of four NFL seasons with the Raiders, earning a Pro Bowl invitation before an injury ended his career. Before all that, Jackson was an All-State player for McAdory High School in 1981.

19. Outside linebacker Kevin Greene (Auburn)

A member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016, the former Auburn walk-on ranks third in sacks in NFL history. Greene’s 160 career sacks are the most for any player who was primarily a linebacker. He went to five Pro Bowls in 15 NFL seasons and earned All-Pro selection in 1994 with the Pittsburgh Steelers and 1996 with the Carolina Panthers, leading the NFL in sacks in both seasons. In 2019, Greene was a finalist for the NFL All-Time Team.

20. Wide receiver John Stallworth (Tuscaloosa High School, Alabama A&M)

Stallworth became a Pro Football Hall of Famer with the Pittsburgh Steelers with a career that made him a finalist for the NFL All-Time Team in 2019. He spent 14 seasons with the Steelers and retired as the franchise’s career receptions leader. Along the way, he played for four Super Bowl winners, catching 12 TD passes in the playoffs, and earned All-Pro recognition in 1979 and Pro Bowl honors in 1979, 1982 and 1984. Stallworth also is a member of the Black College Football Hall of Fame.

Pat Sullivan

Auburn quarterback Pat Sullivan poses with the Heisman Trophy on Dec. 2, 1971, after the presentation at the Downtown Athletic Club in New York.AP Photo/Anthony Camerano

21. Quarterback Pat Sullivan (John Carroll Catholic High School, Auburn)

In 1970, the Auburn QB became the first SEC player to average gaining more than 8 yards per play, broke the Tigers’ single-season records for total offense and passing yardage for the second year in a row and received the SEC Player of the Year Award. In 1971, Sullivan cemented his place in the College Football Hall of Fame as he won the Heisman Trophy and the Walter Camp Award as the nation’s best collegiate player. Sullivan earned unanimous recognition as an All-American in 1971, departing Auburn with the major-college record for TD responsibility in a career. Before going to Auburn, Sullivan was a two-time All-State quarterback for John Carroll Catholic in Birmingham.

22. Middle linebacker Lee Roy Jordan (Excel High School, Alabama)

An All-State player at Excel, Jordan joined coach Paul “Bear” Bryant in the resurrection of Alabama’s football program, anchoring the defense of the 1961 national-championship team and earning unanimous All-American recognition in 1962. He joined the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983. In the NFL, Jordan spent 14 seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, played in three Super Bowls and received All-Pro recognition in 1969 and five Pro Bowl invitations.

23. Defensive tackle Tracy Rocker (Auburn)

A consensus All-American for Auburn in 1987, Rocker was a unanimous All-American selection, won the SEC Player of the Year Award and received the Outland Trophy and the Lombardi Award in 1988 as the star of the Tigers’ No. 1-ranked defense. Rocker joined the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004.

24. Linebacker Will Anderson Jr. (Alabama)

Anderson followed up his decorated college career after being selected third in the 2023 NFL Draft by winning the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Award and going to the Pro Bowl Games as a defensive end for the Houston Texans. With the Crimson Tide in 2021, Anderson was a unanimous All-American, captured the SEC Defensive Player of the Year Award and won the Nagurski Trophy as the nation’s best defensive player. In 2022, he repeated as a unanimous All-American, the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and the Nagurski winner and added the Bednarik Award, Lombardi Award and LOTT Impact Award to his trophy case.

25. Center Frank Gatski (Auburn)

After returning from U.S. Army service in World War II, Gatski joined Auburn for his senior season, then became an original Cleveland Brown. In his 12 pro seasons, “Gunner” played in 11 league championship games, with eight victories. He never missed a game as a pro, earned Pro Bowl recognition in 1952, 1953 and 1955 and entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985.

26. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill (West Alabama)

In six NFL seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, Hill was selected for the Pro Bowl every year as the NFL’s top threat to score from long distance. In three of those seasons, he was an All-Pro first-team selection — as a punt returner in 2016, at the flex position in 2018 and as a wide receiver in 2020. In his two seasons with the Miami Dolphins, Hill made the Pro Bowl and All-Pro and set a team record for single-season receiving yards in both. In 2023, Hill led the NFL with 1,799 receiving yards.

27. Running back Tucker Frederickson (Auburn)

How versatile was Frederickson? He was a defensive back on the SEC’s 50th anniversary team, a two-time winner of the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the SEC’s best blocker and a Pro Bowl running back as a rookie with the New York Giants in 1965. Frederickson was the SEC Player of the Year in 1964 and joined the College Football Hall of Fame in 1994. A knee injury sidelined him in 1966, but he managed to play five more seasons for the Giants despite another knee injury in 1967.

28. Guard/tackle Billy Neighbors (Tuscaloosa County High School, Alabama)

A unanimous All-American for Paul “Bear” Bryant’s first national-championship team, Neighbors helped Alabama hold its opponents to a total of 25 points in 1961. On the other side of the ball, he won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the SEC’s best blocker. Neighbors joined the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003. As a pro, Neighbors played for eight seasons and was an AFL All-Star as a guard in 1963 and 1964. At Tuscaloosa County High School, Neighbors was a two-time All-State center.

29. Outside linebacker E.J. Junior (Alabama)

In Junior’s four seasons at Alabama, the Crimson Tide lost one SEC game and four overall, and the undefeated squad was awarded the 1979 national championship. Junior was a unanimous All-American in 1980. But that wasn’t his final college honor as he joined the College Football Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2020. Junior went fifth in the 1981 NFL Draft and spent 13 seasons in the pros. He earned All-Pro honors in 1984 and was a Pro Bowl pick again in 1985 for the St. Louis Cardinals.

30. Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama)

The defensive back completed his Alabama career in 2017 with his second straight season as a consensus All-American selection. Fitzpatrick also earned the Bednarik Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s best defensive player, and the Jim Thorpe Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s best defensive back, in 2017. Traded by the Miami Dolphins two games into his second NFL season, Fitzpatrick has earned three All-Pro selections and four Pro Bowl invitations since joining the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Heisman Trophy

DeVonta Smith poses with the Heisman Trophy on Jan. 5, 2021. (Heisman Trophy Trust/Kent Gidley)

31. Wide receiver DeVonta Smith (Alabama)

Smith became the sixth player who wasn’t a quarterback or a running back to win the Heisman Trophy, and he also received the Maxwell Award and the Walter Camp Award in 2020. Smith’s other honors for the Crimson Tide’s CFP national championship team in 2020 included the SEC Offensive Player of the Year Award, Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s best wide receiver and unanimous All-American recognition. He also set the SEC single-season and career records for receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. After entering the NFL as the 10th player picked in the 2021 draft, Smith set a Philadelphia Eagles’ rookie record with 916 receiving yards on 64 receptions, then posted back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons.

32. Running back Shaun Alexander (Alabama)

Alexander won the NFL MVP Award and was the Offensive Player of the Year when he led the league with 1,880 rushing yards and set a single-season record with 28 touchdowns in 2005 for the Seattle Seahawks’ Super Bowl team. Alexander earned All-Pro recognition that year and also had two other Pro Bowl seasons in his nine-year career. Alexander entered the NFL as Alabama’s career rushing leader after winning the SEC Player of the Year Award for the Crimson Tide’s 1999 conference-championship team.

33. Quarterback Bryce Young (Alabama)

In 2021, Young had the most decorated season by an Alabama quarterback. Young piled up the awards as he set Alabama single-season records with 4,824 passing yards and 47 touchdown passes. Young became the first Crimson Tide QB to win the Heisman Trophy, and he also received the Maxwell Award, Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award, Manning Award and SEC Offensive Player of the Year Award while earning consensus All-American recognition. Young entered the NFL as the first selection in the 2023 draft.

34. Defensive tackle Marty Lyons (Alabama)

In Lyons’ four seasons at Alabama, the Crimson Tide posted a 42-6 overall record and a 24-2 conference mark, won three SEC championships and captured the 1978 national crown, earned with a goal-line stand against Penn State in the Sugar Bowl with Lyons in the middle of it. Lyons earned consensus All-American honors in 1978, then went to the New York Jets with the 14th pick of the 1979 NFL Draft. He spent 11 seasons as a starter at defensive end or defensive tackle for the Jets, part of the New York Sack Exchange. Lyons was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2011.

35. Outside linebacker Woodrow Lowe (Central High School in Phenix City, Alabama)

Alabama went 44-5 overall and 27-1 in SEC play and won four league titles in Lowe’s four seasons, finishing in the top five nationally in scoring defense, total defense or both each year. Lowe earned consensus All-American honors in 1974. He also was a first-team All-American selection in 1973 by the Football Writers Association of America and in 1975 by UPI. Lowe joined the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009. After Alabama, Lowe spent 11 seasons as the San Diego Chargers’ right outside linebacker, missing one game in that time.

36. Offensive tackle Chris Samuels (Shaw High School, Alabama)

A four-year starter at Alabama after prepping at Shaw in Mobile, Samuels earned consensus All-American recognition and won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the SEC’s best blocker and the Outland Trophy as the nation’s top interior lineman for the Crimson Tide’s 1999 SEC championship team. Chosen by Washington with the third pick of the 2000 NFL Draft, Samuels started all 141 games of his pro career at left offensive tackle, picking up six Pro Bowl invitations along the way, before an injury ended his career in his 10th season.

37. Wide receiver Julio Jones (Foley High School, Alabama)

At Foley High School, Jones became the first wide receiver in 23 years to win Alabama’s Mr. Football award in 2007. When he left Alabama three seasons later, the Atlanta Falcons traded five draft picks to move up to select him with the sixth choice in 2011. In 10 seasons with the Falcons, Jones was a Pro Bowler seven times and an All-Pro pick twice. In 2015, he turned in the second-highest single-season reception and receiving-yardage totals in NFL history, and, in 2016, he had the league’s sixth 300-yard receiving game.

38. Inside linebacker C.J. Mosley (Theodore High School, Alabama)

A two-time consensus All-American at Alabama, Mosley won the SEC Defensive Player of the Year Award and the Butkus Award as the nation’s best collegiate linebacker as a senior. After Baltimore selected Mosley with the 17th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, he became the first Ravens player to be chosen for the Pro Bowl as a rookie, and he also earned Pro Bowl invitations in the 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2022 seasons. After sitting out the 2020 season during the coronavirus pandemic, Mosley returned in 2021 to make 168 tackles for the New York Jets, the most for a player with Alabama football roots in records that date to 1985. Mosley was the Class 6A Lineman of the Year at Theodore in 2009, too.

39. Quarterback Philip Rivers (Athens High School)

After earning All-State honors at Athens High School, Rivers was the ACC Player of the Year for North Carolina State in 2003, then became the fourth player picked in the 2004 NFL Draft. Over his final 15 NFL seasons, he built a streak of 251 games as the starting quarterback for the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers and, in 2020, the Indianapolis Colts, earning Pro Bowl recognition eight times. Only four players in NFL history had thrown more touchdown passes than Rivers, who had 421, when he retired after the 2020 season to become the football coach at St. Michael Catholic High School in Fairhope.

40. Running back Mark Ingram (Alabama)

Ingram became Alabama’s first Heisman Trophy winner in 2009, helping the Crimson Tide win the BCS national championship while earning unanimous All-American selection and receiving the SEC Offensive Player of the Year Award. In the NFL, Ingram recorded three 1,000-yard rushing seasons and received three Pro Bowl invitations.

Chicago Bears end Harlon Hill

Chicago Bears end Harlon Hill with coach George Halas during an NFL game in 1955.AL.com file

41. End Harlon Hill (Lauderdale County High School, North Alabama)

How good was Harlon Hill? NCAA Division II’s equivalent of the Heisman Trophy is named for him. Hill’s early football career didn’t take him far from home, playing at Lauderdale County High and Florence State Teachers College (now North Alabama), where he was an NAIA All-American in 1953. It’s when Hill got to the Chicago Bears and an NFL passing game that his skills were harnessed to the fullest. A two-time All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowler, Hill won the NFL MVP Award in 1955. His career average of 20.3 yards per reception is still third-best in NFL history.

42. Halfback Dixie Howell (Alabama)

Howell is famed for his Rose Bowl performance – two TD runs and a TD pass to Don Hutson against Stanford – to cap Alabama’s undefeated 1934 campaign. Howell won the SEC Player of the Year Award and earned consensus All-American recognition that season as a quadruple-threat back. Notable enough in Alabama to show up in the pages of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Howell was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1970.

43. Halfback/quarterback Harry Gilmer (Woodlawn High School, Alabama)

Famous for his jump pass as Alabama’s left halfback and a pro QB, Gilmer led the nation in touchdown passes and TD responsibility in 1945 and in interceptions (made, not thrown) and punt-return yards in 1946. He was the SEC Player of the Year for Alabama’s undefeated, Rose Bowl-winning 1945 team and inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1993. The first player picked in the 1948 NFL Draft, Gilmer went to two Pro Bowls for the Washington Redskins. He also was an All-Southern pick for Woodlawn High School’s 1943 undefeated team.

44. Cornerback Antonio Langham (Hazlewood High School, Alabama)

An All-State selection for Hazlewood High School’s AHSAA Class 2A championship teams in 1988 and 1989, Langham earned unanimous All-American recognition and won the Thorpe Award as the nation’s best defensive back in 1993 at Alabama. He holds the Alabama career record with 19 interceptions, including a 27-yard touchdown return with 3:16 remaining in the Crimson Tide’s 28-21 victory over Florida in the first SEC Championship Game. Langham started his seven NFL seasons as the ninth choice in the 1994 draft. The runner-up for the AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Award, Langham has the distinction of playing for the Cleveland Browns before the franchise moved to Baltimore and for the expansion Cleveland Browns.

45. Running back Johnny Musso (Banks High School, Alabama)

Auburn quarterback Pat Sullivan won the Heisman Trophy in 1971, but Musso won the SEC Player of the Year Award for that season as Alabama captured the conference title. Musso also was a consensus All-American in 1971 as he left Alabama as the Crimson Tide’s career leader in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns. Musso was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2000. Musso also was an All-State player for Banks High in Birmingham.

46. Offensive tackle Willie Anderson (Vigor High School, Auburn)

Cincinnati selected Anderson from Auburn with the 10th pick in the 1996 NFL Draft, and he was an All-Pro three times and a Pro Bowler four times for the Bengals during his 13-year pro career. In his first 11 seasons, he missed two games. At Vigor High School in Prichard, Anderson was a three-time All-State selection who was the Class 6A Player of the Year in 1992 even though he was an offensive lineman. For the past three years, Anderson has been a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

47. Quarterback Jameis Winston (Hueytown High School)

Winston won the Heisman Trophy, as well as the ACC Player of the Year Award, consensus All-American recognition and the Manning Award as the nation’s top collegiate QB, while leading Florida State to the BCS national championship in the 2013 season. The No. 1 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, Winston became the third NFL rookie with 4,000 passing yards and went to the Pro Bowl in 2015. In 2019, Winston passed for 5,109 yards, the eighth-most in one season in NFL history. At Hueytown High, Winston was a two-time All-State pick and the Class 5A Back of the Year in 2011.

48. Wide receiver Amari Cooper (Alabama)

On his way to setting school records for career receptions, receiving yards and TD catches, Cooper set an SEC single-season record with 124 catches in 2014. That earned him unanimous All-American recognition, the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s best wide receiver and the SEC Offensive Player of the Year Award. Since the Oakland Raiders chose Cooper fourth in the 2015 NFL Draft, he has turned in seven 1,000-yard receiving seasons and been selected for the Pro Bowl in 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2023.

49. Quarterback Riley Smith (Alabama)

In the days of do-it-all backs, Smith was one of the do-it-all-est. In his brief pro career, which was ended by injury, he scored touchdowns on runs, receptions and fumble returns, threw TD passes, kicked field goals and extra points and helped the Washington Redskins win the 1937 NFL championship. At Alabama, he won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the SEC’s best blocker. Smith joined Washington as the second player picked in the first NFL Draft. He had been a consensus All-American in 1935 and entered the College Football Hall of Fame in 1985.

50. Middle linebacker Ronald McKinnon (Elba High School, North Alabama)

An All-State player at Elba in 1990, McKinnon became one of the greats of NCAA Division II at North Alabama, earning All-American recognition three times for three national-championship teams and receiving the Harlon Hill Award in 1995 as the classification’s best player on his way to the College Football Hall of Fame. McKinnon didn’t get drafted, but still spent 10 years in the NFL, including eight as the middle linebacker for the Arizona Cardinals.

Jimmy Hitchcock

Jimmy Hitchcock was Auburn’s first consensus All-American in 1930. AL.com file

51. Halfback Jimmy Hitchcock (Union Springs High School, Auburn)

“The Phantom of Union Springs” was Auburn’s first consensus All-American, earning the honor while starring for the Tigers’ undefeated Southern Conference championship team in 1930. Hitchcock was a member of the second class of inductees for the College Football Hall of Fame. Also an All-American in baseball, Hitchcock played in the big leagues for the Boston Braves in 1938.

52. Tackle Don Whitmire (Decatur High School, Alabama)

Whitmire played for coaching legend Shorty Ogle at Decatur before going to Alabama, where he was an NEA All-American in 1942. With World War II raging, Whitmire transferred to the U.S. Naval Academy, where he was a unanimous All-American in 1944. Inducted with the College Football Hall of Fame’s third class in the 1956, Whitmire reached the rank of rear admiral in the Navy.

53. Center Walter Gilbert (Auburn)

A two-way star who once played six consecutive games for Auburn without leaving the field, Gilbert has been a member of the College Football Hall of Fame since 1956, the third class of inductees. Gilbert received the SEC Player of the Year Award in 1936, the first of the five non-skill-position players to win the honor before the league began giving awards for the offensive, defensive and special-teams players of the year in 2002.

54. Tackle Fred Sington (Phillips High School, Alabama)

Sington became Alabama’s first unanimous All-American playing for the undefeated team that outscored its opponents 271-13 and won the Rose Bowl to cap the 1930 season. Sington’s exploits inspired Rudy Vallee’s hit song “Football Freddie.” Sington was a member of the third class inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He played pro baseball instead of pro football after leaving Alabama, spending six seasons in the Major Leagues.

55. Wide receiver Terry Beasley (Lee High School, Auburn)

An All-State end for Lee-Montgomery, Beasley became forever tied to quarterback Pat Sullivan at Auburn. Both were unanimous All-Americans in 1971, and both reached the College Football Hall of Fame, with Beasley in the Class of 2002. Beasley was the 19th player picked in the 1972 NFL Draft, but injuries caused him to miss the entire 1973 season and limited him to 29 pro games.

56. Center Cisco Mancha (Ramsay High School, Alabama)

Mancha had a three-year gap between his last game as a prep star at Ramsay in Birmingham in 1941 and starting his career as a two-way standout for Alabama because he was in the Merchant Marines during World War II. In 1945, Mancha was a consensus All-American for the Crimson Tide’s undefeated, Rose Bowl-winning team, and he entered the College Football Hall of Fame in 1990.

57. Inside linebacker DeMeco Ryans (Jess Lanier High School, Alabama)

An All-State player for Jess Lanier High School in Bessemer in 2001, Ryans was a unanimous All-American and the SEC Defensive Player of the Year for Alabama in 2005. He also won the Lott IMPACT Trophy, a national award presented to a top defensive player, with IMPACT standing for integrity, maturity, performance, academics, community and tenacity. Ryans then was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year for the Houston Texans in 2006, starting a 10-year pro career than included two Pro Bowl selections. Ryans was the Pro Football Writers of America’s NFL Coach of the Year for the 2023 season in his first year guiding the Texans.

58. Halfback Ben Stevenson (Tuskegee)

Stevenson managed to play for Tuskegee for eight seasons – from 1923 through 1930 — including his first four when he attended prep school there. During all that time with the Golden Tigers, Stevenson played in two losses, and the Pittsburgh Courier declared Tuskegee the champion of Black-college football six times in his career. Credited with 42 touchdown runs of 50 or more yards, Stevenson was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003, and he was a member of the inaugural class of the Black College Football Hall of Fame.

59. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama)

After coming off the bench to rally Alabama to victory in the CFP championship game for the 2017 season, Tagovailoa led the Crimson Tide to the SEC championship and a spot in the CFP national-championship game in 2018, when he set school single-season records for touchdown passes, passing yards, TD responsibility and total offense while compiling the highest passing-efficiency rating in NCAA FBS history. For his performance, Tagovailoa earned the Maxwell and Walter Camp awards as the national Player of the Year, the SEC Offensive Player of the Year Award and consensus All-American recognition (over Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray of Oklahoma). Tagovailoa entered the NFL as the fifth player picked in the 2020 draft. He led the NFL in passing yards in 2023, when he earned his first Pro Bowl invitation.

60. Center Sylvester Croom (Tuscaloosa High School, Alabama)

Croom had a 41-year career in coaching, notably as the first African American head coach in SEC history in 2004 with Mississippi State. But the College Football Hall of Fame reached back to Croom’s playing career when he was included in its Class of 2022. While Croom was at Alabama from 1972 through 1974, the Crimson Tide lost one regular-season game (by one point) and won three SEC championships. The Tuscaloosa native won the SEC’s Jacobs Blocking Trophy in 1974, when he was the American Football Coaches Association’s All-American center.

Washington Commanders defensive tackle Jonathan Allen sacks Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields

Washington Commanders defensive tackle Jonathan Allen sacks Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields during an NFL game on Oct. 5, 2023, at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

61. Defensive end Jonathan Allen (Alabama)

The three-time All-SEC selection concluded his collegiate career in 2016 by becoming Alabama’s first winner of the Bednarik Award, presented annually to the nation’s best defensive player. The unanimous All-American also got the other national defensive player of the year award – the Nagurski Trophy – as well as the SEC Defensive Player of the Year Award and the Ted Hendricks Award, which recognizes the nation’s top defensive end. Allen entered the NFL with Washington as the 17th player picked in the 2017 draft, and he has earned Bowl invitations in 2021 and 2022.

62. Center Ryan Kelly (Alabama)

A consensus All-American for Alabama’s 2015 CFP national championship team, Kelly also won the Rimington Trophy as the nation’s best center and the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the SEC’s top blocker. The Indianapolis Colts installed Kelly as their starting center after selecting him with the 16th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, and he has earned Pro Bowl recognition in four of the past five seasons.

63. Halfback Johnny Mack Brown (Dothan High School, Alabama)

An All-American halfback in 1925 for Alabama’s undefeated and Rose Bowl championship team, “The Dothan Antelope” has been in the College Football Hall of Fame since 1957. After his football career, Brown became a Hollywood star and a famous movie cowboy.

64. Fullback John Cain (Sidney Lanier High School, Alabama)

The only non-senior starter on the 1930 Alabama team that outscored its opponents 271-13 and won the Rose Bowl in a 10-0 season, Cain earned All-American recognition in each of his three seasons as a fullback or a halfback (and he also played quarterback and defense in the days of two-way football). The Montgomery native was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1973.

65. Fullback/quarterback Pooley Hubert (Alabama)

A member of the College Football Hall of Fame since 1964, the two-way star played a pivotal role in college football history by throwing for two touchdowns and running for a score in Alabama’s 20-19 victory over Washington in the Rose Bowl to cap the 1925 season, the first appearance by a Southern team in what was then the sport’s biggest game. Alabama’s Wallace Wade called Hubert “the greatest team leader and playmaker I ever coached in my long career.”

66. Fullback Ed Dyas (McGill Institute, Auburn)

A Wigwam Wiseman All-American at McGill Institute in Mobile in 1956, Dyas was more than a fullback for Auburn, although he was the FWAA’s All-American pick at that position in 1960. He also played linebacker, and as a place-kicker set an NCAA record by making 13 field-goals in 1960. Drafted by the NFL’s Baltimore Colts and the AFL’s San Diego Chargers in 1961, Dyas passed up pursuing professional football to attend medical school. Dyas joined the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009.

67. Defensive end/outside linebacker Robert Mathis (Alabama A&M)

When he retired at the end of the 2016 campaign after 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, Mathis ranked 17th in NFL history with 123 sacks, including 19.5 in 2013, when he led the league and received All-Pro recognition. Mathis also received five Pro Bowl invitations. Mathis was an NCAA FCS All-American for Alabama A&M in 2002.

68. Offensive lineman Barrett Jones (Alabama)

After starting his college career as the right guard for Alabama’s 2009 BCS national-championship team, Jones won the Outland Trophy as the nation’s best interior lineman, earned the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the SEC’s best blocker and was a unanimous All-American as the left tackle for the Crimson Tide’s 2011 BCS national championship team. In 2012, Jones again was a consensus All-American for another national-title team and received the Rimington Trophy, given annually to the nation’s top collegiate center.

69. Split end Red Phillips (Benjamin Russell High School, Auburn)

An All-State player for Benjamin Russell’s 1953 undefeated team, Phillips was Auburn’s first unanimous All-American, playing for the Tigers’ 1957 undefeated team, which won the AP national title. After going to the Los Angeles Rams with the fifth pick in the 1958 NFL Draft, Phillips earned Pro Bowl honors as a split end in 1960, 1961 and 1962 and earned All-Pro recognition in 1961, when he led the NFL in receptions. Phillips played 10 NFL seasons with the Rams and Minnesota Vikings.

70. Wide receiver Roddy White (UAB)

The Atlanta Falcons took White from UAB with the 27th pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, and he went on to become the team’s all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns. Along the way, White earned Pro Bowl recognition annually from 2008 through 2011 and was an All-Pro in 2010, when he led the NFL with 115 receptions and recorded the fourth of his six straight seasons with 1,000 receiving yards.

Jets defensive end Quinnen Williams causes Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence to fumble

New York Jets defensive end Quinnen Williams causes Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence to fumble during an NFL game on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

71. Defensive tackle Quinnen Williams (Wenonah High School, Alabama)

An All-State player at Wenonah in 2015, Williams was a unanimous All-American and the winner of the Outland Trophy as the nation’s best interior lineman at Alabama in 2018 and an All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection for the New York Jets in 2022, when he led the NFL’s interior linemen with 12 sacks. He earned Pro Bowl selection again in 2023.

72. Center Forrest Blue (Auburn)

After playing football and baseball at Auburn, Blue started an 11-year career in the NFL as the 15th player picked in the 1968 draft. His best seasons were the six spent as a starter for the San Francisco 49ers. He earned Pro Bowl recognition annually from 1971 through 1974 and was the All-Pro center in 1971 and 1972.

73. Cornerback Hanford Dixon (Theodore High School)

Dixon has an enduring place in Cleveland Browns’ history for naming the Dawg Pound, but he also was an all-star cornerback in the NFL. Dixon earned All-Pro recognition in the 1986 and 1987 seasons and was a Pro Bowler for the third time in 1988. Dixon went from Theodore High School to Southern Miss to nine seasons in the NFL as the 22nd player picked in the 1981 draft.

74. Nose tackle Bob Baumhower (Tuscaloosa High School, Alabama)

After playing on three SEC championship teams at Alabama, Baumhower spent nine seasons as the Miami Dolphins’ nose tackle, going to two Super Bowls. He earned Pro Bowl recognition in 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1984 and was an All-Pro in 1983.

75. Center Rodney Hudson (B.C. Rain High School)

A Pro Bowl center for the Oakland Raiders in 2016, 2017 and 2019, Hudson was a unanimous All-American in 2010 and a two-time, first-team FWAA All-American at guard for Florida State. While with the Seminoles, Hudson became the first ACC offensive lineman to be first-team all-league three times and won the ACC’s Jacobs Blocking Trophy twice. He joined FSU from Mobile’s B.C. Rain High School, where he was All-State twice.

76. Offensive tackle Andre Smith (Huffman High School, Alabama)

The first offensive lineman to win Alabama’s Mr. Football honor in 2005 at Huffman High School in Birmingham, Smith started at left offensive tackle for three seasons at Alabama, culminating in consensus All-American recognition in 2008, when he won the Outland Trophy as the nation’s top interior lineman and the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the SEC’s top blocker. Smith was the sixth player picked in the 2009 NFL Draft and played in 121 NFL regular-season games.

77. Center Tom Banks (John Carroll Catholic High School, Auburn)

The St. Louis Cardinals took Banks from Auburn in the eighth round of the 1970 NFL Draft and wound up with a four-time Pro Bowler and a 110-game starter. During Banks’ Pro Bowl run from 1975 through 1977, he earned All-Pro recognition in 1976. Before going to Auburn, Banks was an All-State player at John Carroll Catholic in Birmingham.

78. Cornerback Patrick Surtain II (Alabama)

For Alabama’s undefeated 2020 CFP national championship team, Surtain won the SEC Defensive Player of the Year Award and earned unanimous All-American recognition. In his second season after joining the Denver Broncos as the ninth pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Surtain received All-Pro recognition and a Pro Bowl invitation, and he was a Pro Bowler again in 2023.

79. Safety Landon Collins (Alabama)

Collins ended his career at Alabama as a unanimous All-American in 2014. In his second NFL season, Collins earned All-Pro recognition and represented the New York Giants in the Pro Bowl in the 2016 season, when he became the first player in NFL history with at least 100 solo tackles, two sacks, five interceptions and 12 passes defended in the same season. In 2017 and 2018, Collins received Pro Bowl recognition again, selected as the starting strong safety for the NFC in the annual all-star game.

80. Offensive tackle Cam Robinson (Alabama)

Robinson started every game of his Alabama career at left offensive tackle, completing the 2016 season as a unanimous All-American, the winner of the Outland Trophy as the nation’s best interior lineman and the recipient of the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the SEC’s top blocker. A second-round draft pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Robinson stepped into their starting lineup at left offensive tackle and helped them reach the AFC championship game in 2017. He has started all 87 of his NFL games at left tackle for the Jaguars.

Takeo Spikes

San Diego Chargers inside linebacker Takeo Spikes, left, tackles Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2011, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) AP

81. Inside linebacker Takeo Spikes (Auburn)

Spikes is one of the 13 linebackers who has started at least 200 games in the NFL. Spikes spent 15 seasons in the pros after leaving Auburn as the 13th player picked in the 1998 NFL Draft. He earned All-Pro recognition for the Buffalo Bills in 2004, a year after earning his first Pro Bowl invitation.

82. Defensive tackle Derrick Brown (Auburn)

Brown capped his college career at Auburn by receiving unanimous All-American recognition, the SEC Defensive Player of the Year Award and the Lott IMPACT Trophy in 2019. The latter award is a national accolade presented to a top defensive player, with IMPACT standing for integrity, maturity, performance, academics, community and tenacity. After the Carolina Panthers chose Brown with the seventh selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, he earned a spot on the Professional Football Writers of America’s All-Rookie team and was a Pro Bowler in 2023.

83. Guard Landon Dickerson (Alabama)

For Alabama’s undefeated 2020 CFP national championship team, Dickerson was a unanimous All-American, won the Rimington Trophy as the nation’s best center and shared the Jacobs Blocking Award with teammate Alex Leatherwood. With the Philadelphia Eagles, Dickerson switched to guard and earned Pro Bowl selection in the past two NFL seasons.

84. Linebacker Rolando McClain (Decatur High School, Alabama)

McClain followed his Parade All-American status at Decatur High School in 2006 by becoming a unanimous All-American for Alabama in 2009. McClain earned the SEC Defensive Player of the Year Award and the Butkus Award as the nation’s best linebacker that season by anchoring the defense for the BCS national championship team. The eighth player picked in the 2010 NFL Draft, McClain played five NFL seasons.

85. Cornerback Carlos Rogers (Auburn)

A four-year starter for Auburn, Rogers earned consensus All-American recognition and won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s best defensive back during his senior season – the Tigers’ undefeated 2004 campaign. Rogers was a full-time starter in nine of his 10 NFL seasons, highlighted by a Pro Bowl invitation in 2011 with the San Francisco 49ers.

86. Quarterback Mac Jones (Alabama)

Jones earned consensus All-American recognition and won the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award and Manning Award for the 2020 season, when he became the first Alabama player to pass for at least 4,000 yards in a season and led the Crimson Tide through an undefeated season to the CFP national championship. Selected by the New England Patriots with the 15th choice in the 2021 NFL Draft, Jones capped his rookie season by playing in the Pro Bowl.

87. Cornerback Cortland Finnegan (Samford)

Finnegan was an FCS consensus All-American twice for Samford — as a return specialist in 2002 and a defensive back in 2005. That got him into only the seventh round of the 2006 NFL Draft. But by his third pro season, Finnegan was an All-Pro cornerback for the Tennessee Titans. After nine seasons, Finnegan’s NFL career appeared to be over, but he came out of retirement during 2015 to help the Carolina Panthers reach the Super Bowl.

88. Nose tackle Jay Ratliff (Auburn)

Ratliff played tight end for Auburn as a freshman, was a defensive end for the Tigers’ unbeaten 1993 team and finished his collegiate career as a defensive tackle. He made his name in the defensive interior in the NFL, earning Pro Bowl recognition annually from 2008 through 2011 as the Dallas Cowboys’ nose tackle, highlighted by All-Pro honors in 2009.

89. Running back Joe Cribbs (Sulligent High School, Auburn)

Cribbs won the SEC Player of the Year Award at Auburn in 1979, then earned Pro Bowl recognition in three of his first four seasons with the Buffalo Bills, running for at least 1,000 yards in each of the all-star campaigns. Cribbs jumped to the Birmingham Stallions in 1984 and led the USFL in rushing. Cribbs was an All-State player for Sulligent, too.

90. Running back James Brooks (Auburn)

Brooks had three 1,000-yard rushing seasons for the Cincinnati Bengals, but his ability to run with the football wasn’t the sole reason he earned Pro Bowl recognition four times. Brooks also caught 383 passes in the NFL, and he led the league in all-purpose yards twice and kickoff-return yards once. Brooks rushed for 2,522 yards in his final two seasons at Auburn, even though he shared the backfield with Joe Cribbs in one of those years.

Kansas City Chiefs fullback Tony Richardson carries the football

Kansas City Chiefs fullback Tony Richardson carries the football during an NFL game against the Oakland Raiders on Oct. 20, 2003, in Oakland, Calif.(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

91. Fullback Tony Richardson (Daleville High School, Auburn)

Richardson spent most of his time at Auburn blocking for other ball-carriers, such as James Bostic and Stephen Davis on the Tigers’ 1993 undefeated team. But that was good preparation for what he did in the NFL, where he spent 16 seasons. Five running backs totaled eight 1,000-yard rushing seasons playing with Richardson, who earned Pro Bowl recognition three times and was the Kansas City Chiefs’ leading rusher in 2000 with 697 yards.

92. Offensive tackle Howard Ballard (Clay County High School, Alabama A&M)

“House” was Alabama A&M’s first consensus All-American in 1987, but that got him to only the 11th round of the NFL Draft – and he didn’t start a game in his rookie season. But the remaining 154 that Ballard played over the next 10 years, he started at right offensive tackle. With the Buffalo Bills, he played on four straight Super Bowl teams and earned Pro Bowl recognition in 1992 and 1993.

93. Cornerback Eric Davis (Anniston High School, Jacksonville State)

Only one Jacksonville State player has been selected in the NFL Draft earlier than Davis, who went to the San Francisco 49ers with the 53rd choice in 1990. He intercepted four passes in three playoff games during San Francisco’s run to the Super Bowl championship to cap the 1994 season, which gave Davis interceptions in five consecutive postseason contests. The next year, Davis earned All-Pro recognition, the individual high point of his 13-year career.

94. Defensive tackle Nick Fairley (Williamson High School, Auburn)

An All-State football and basketball player at Williamson High School in Mobile, Fairley’s biggest college season helped Auburn win the BCS national championship in 2010. Fairley earned consensus All-American recognition, won the SEC Defensive Player of the Year Award and received the Lombardi Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s best collegiate lineman or linebacker. Fairley played six seasons in the NFL before a heart ailment forced him off the field.

95. Running back Trent Richardson (Alabama)

While Richardson’s NFL career didn’t measure up to his status as the third player picked in the 2012 draft, he earned that spot with his college performance. Richardson broke Alabama’s single-season rushing record in 2011, when he was a consensus All-American, won the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s best collegiate running back and received the SEC Offensive Player of the Year Award while helping the Crimson Tide win its second BCS national championship in his three seasons.

96. Defensive end Justin Tuck (Central High School in Rockford)

Tuck’s 11 seasons in the NFL included two Super Bowl victories with the New York Giants. He was an All-Pro in 2008 and selected for the Pro Bowl again in 2010 for the Giants. Tuck was a two-time All-State tight end at Central-Coosa who went to Notre Dame as a linebacker. After a switch to defensive end, he set Fighting Irish records for single-season and career sacks.

97. Outside linebacker Adalius Thomas (Central High School in Rockford)

Thomas played on a lot of winners. Although an All-State football player at Central-Coosa, it was the Cougars’ basketball team that he led to the AHSAA championship in 1995, when he was the Class 4A Player of the Year. Southern Miss won three Conference USA titles in Thomas’ four seasons as a defensive end. He won the C-USA Defensive Player of the Year Award in 1998 and 1999 as an end, then broke into the NFL with a Super Bowl winner in Baltimore. He also played for the New England Patriots when they won all their regular-season games in 2007. In his 10 NFL seasons, Thomas went to the Pro Bowl twice and was All-Pro in 2006.

98. Offensive tackle Marcus McNeill (Auburn)

After earning All-American recognition from CBS and Sports Illustrated during Auburn’s undefeated 2004 season, McNeill was a consensus All-American in 2005, when he won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the SEC’s best blocker. In his six-year NFL career with the San Diego Chargers, McNeill started every game he played at left offensive tackle and went to the Pro Bowl in his first two seasons despite having spinal stenosis.

99. Linebacker Dont’a Hightower (Alabama)

A consensus All-American for the Crimson Tide’s 2011 BCS national championship team, Hightower entered the NFL as a first-round selection of the New England Patriots in 2012. In nine NFL seasons, Hightower won three Super Bowl rings by playing pivotal roles in each of New England’s past three victories in the NFL championship game. Hightower earned Pro Bowl recognition in 2016 and 2019.

100. Safety Eddie Jackson (Alabama)

Although his career at Alabama was affected by injuries and switched from cornerback to safety during it, Jackson still set the school career record for interception-return yards with 303 and helped the Crimson Tide win the 2015 CFP national championship. A fourth-round selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, Jackson was an All-Pro for the Chicago Bears by 2018 and earned another Pro Bowl invitation in 2019.

Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @AMarkG1.



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