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Building The Ultimate Alabama Team: Tight Ends

Top receivers for the Ultimate Team

The Wizard of Oz
The Wizard of Oz

In a continuing series of off-season Gump-fest articles, today we look at Part One of the pass catchers: Tight Ends.

You have hemmed and hawed over the guys who run the ball as well as your favorites who pass the ball. Now we ask you to select the best wide receivers and tight ends. This might not be as easy as you think since Alabama has historically been a run-it-up-the-gut-three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust kinda team for as long as there have been 100 yards on a football field. If you are confused, here is a handy study guide.

Just to recap the concept: "If you were to create a team using only Alabama players starting with the Bear Bryant years to present, who would you pick?"

Think about who you have selected so far and add the top three receivers including tight ends that you think would best make this team win. There may be some guys you like but do they fit into the scheme?

My Ball, My Rules

Below is a list of players in no particular order that maybe I think are worthy of catching passes from your ultimate Bama QB.

  • The community will vote for the top 5 wide receivers and 2 tight ends who will move on to the final round of a combined vote.
  • Who you choose will be based on your own criteria but consider who is throwing the ball to them. You might also want to consider who will be returning kicks. Remember, we are building the Ultimate Bama Team. One vote per poll per round, so make it count.
  • If I missed a player, and the community feels he should have been included, a single write-in candidate will be allowed. No, not Duron Carter. He has not academically qualified yet.
  • Only players who played in the Bear Bryant Era (1958-1982, which ironically exclude the Bear himself) to present are eligible. I am including only one WR from the current Bama roster for obvious reasons.
Tight Ends

Okay, okay. This is probably an easy one but humor me.

Howard Cross (1986-1988) - 41catches for 459 yards, an 11.2 ypc average and 4 touchdowns. He is probably best remembered for his touchdown catch vs. Notre Dame in 1986 and two touchdowns receptions against Mississippi State in 1988.

Cross was drafted by the New York Giants as was a fan favorite playing in a total of 207 games over 13 seasons as a Giant, more games than any other player in team history. More a blocking tight end, he still finished his NFL career with 201 receptions for 2,194 yards and 17 touchdowns and never missed a game.

Cross entered the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2010. He is currently a sports broadcaster in NYC.

Michael Williams (2009-2012) - 51 rec, 503 yds, 9.9 ypc, 7 TD. He was part of three National Championships (2010, 2012, 2013) before being drafted by the Detroit Lions in 2013 where he currently resides.

He had 3 receptions, 17 receiving yards and one receiving touchdown against Notre Dame in the 2013 BCS National Championship Game.

Terry Jones Jr. (1998-2001) 31rec, 480 yds, 15.5 ypc, 3 TD. Son of a Bear Bryant Bama defensive tackle, "Junior" was named All-SEC for his senior season. As 2001 team captain, his hand and footprints live on forever in cement around Denny Chimes.

Drafted by the Ravens, he played four seasons scoring 4 touchdowns on 59 nabs for 493 yards. He never fumbled.

Ozzie Newsome 102 rec, 2070 yds, 20.3 ypc, 16 TD - Legend.

(Honorable Mention: Thornton Chandler 1983-1985, 32 rec, 504 yds, 15.8 ypc, 2 TD)

* As suggested, I will leave Ozzie off the poll and you can vote for the second TE.