Building The Ultimate Alabama Team: Center

When push comes to shove, who is Bama's Ultimate center? - USA TODAY Sports

They are team leaders and the quarterback of the offensive line. They are the few, the proud, the centers.

Alright, you know the drill: Ultimate Bama team. Bear Bryant era up to today. You want a write-in, put it in comments and/or rec a comment. There will be no second round for center. You gotta problem? Even in 2014, you can still blame Todd.

Antoine Caldwell - One of the few Crimson Tide players to twice be honored with handprints and footprints laid into the concrete surrounding Denny Chimes (2007, 2008). After a broken foot sustained early in his first fall camp forced Caldwell into a redshirt season, he came back the next year to win a starting spot at guard and was named Freshman First Team All-SEC. He was moved to center in that year's Cotton Bowl and continued on at the spot. He was named a consensus All-American 2008.

A third round pick of the Houston Texans where he played from 2009 to 2012, including 19 starts, he is currently a free agent.

Paul Crane -  All-SEC in 1964 and 1965, All-American and team captain in 1965, he was the man in the middle for Bear Bryant's second and third National Championships in 1964 and 1965. Bama has a spring award named for him: the Paul Crane Offensive Lineman Award. His name and prints can be found at Denny Chimes Walk of Fame.

Crane became a member of New York Jets teaming with Joe Namath from 1966 to 1972 and the famous Super Bowl III.  He also played some defense for the Jets finishing with 5 interceptions including a pick 6, a safety, and blocked punt returned for a score.

Sylvester Croom - Anchored three SEC championships from 1972 to 1974 and a National title in 1973. All-American and team captain in 1974, he also won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy. Alabama has a spring award named after him: the Sylvester Croom Commitment to Excellence Award.

Croom spent one year with the New Orleans Saints before turning to coaching. After 11 years as a Bama assistant, and several NFL stops, he got the head coaching job at Mississippi State (2004–2008). He is currently running backs coach for the Tennessee Titans.

All-SEC team, a Kodak All-American, and earned the Jacobs Blocking Trophy - See more at: http://www.secsportsfan.com/sylvester-croom-biography.html#sthash.MVUxpY0n.dpuf
All-SEC team, a Kodak All-American, and earned the Jacobs Blocking Trophy - See more at: http://www.secsportsfan.com/sylvester-croom-biography.html#sthash.MVUxpY0n.dpuf

Dwight Stephenson (1976-1979) - Bear Bryant once famously remarked that Stephenson was "the best center I ever coached. He was a man among children." Dwight was an All-American and instrumental part of Alabama's 1978 and 1979 national championship teams. The Dwight Stephenson Lineman of the A-Day Game Award is named for him.

He played for the Miami Dolphins from 1980-1987 making five Pro Bowls. He was voted NFL 1980s All-Decade Team and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In 2010, he was recipient of the President Gerald R. Ford Legends Award.

Barrett Jones - I almost added Jones to this list but he only spent one year at center in 2012. Save your votes for him as one of your tackles where he won the Outland Trophy in 2011. So sorry.

Player All-American National Champs Denny Chimes
Paul Crane x 1964, 1965 1965
Sylvester Croom x 1973 1974
Dwight Stephenson x 1978, 1979 -
Antoine Caldwell x - 2007, 2008
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