"The Wizard of Oz" doing what he did best. Photo: The Bryant Museum
Last month, we at Roll Bama Roll submitted a list of nominees for induction to the inaugural class of the SB Nation College Football Hall of Fame. We are proud to announce that Ozzie Newsome has been chosen as part of this elite group as an automatic selection for Tight End.
Newsome is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. He was selected as Alabama's Player of the Decade for the 1970s and voted onto Alabama's Team of Century. He was a unanimous All-American selection in 1977 and an All-Conference player in 1976 and 1977. Both the Atlanta Touchdown Club and the Birmingham Quarterback Club named him Lineman of the Year in the conference in 1977.
Newsome was an offensive marvel for Alabama between 1974 and 1977 who well deserved the nickname "The Wizard of Oz." During his time at The Capstone, Alabama rolled up an an astounding 42-6 record, claimed three SEC championships and finished in the nation's top ten every year (no less than No. 2 in 1974 and 1977). The only honor that eluded this dominant team was the national championship.
As impressive as the accolades for Newsome's performance during his career with the Crimson Tide may be, the numbers speak for themselves.
To put that into context, Alabama Head Coach Paul W. Bryant called Newsome "the greatest end in Alabama history and that includes Don Hutson." (Bryant himself played end for the Crimson Tide on the same team as the legendary Hutson.) As a testament to that, three-and-a-half decades since his playing days in Tuscaloosa ended, Newsome's presence in the Alabama Record Book remains formidable.
It should also be mentioned that Newsome returned punts, averaging 7.5 yards on 40 returns during his career. He was a first round draft pick by the Cleveland Browns (23rd pick overall) and went on to a 13-year NFL career. He is currently the General Manager for the Baltimore Ravens.