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Building the Ultimate Alabama Team Final Round: Special Teams

Y'all thought we forgot about special teams, didn't you?

If you thought we just simply skipped over special teams you were sadly mistaken. With at the most three players up for each position, there really was no need to have a first round to determine who the top two players were.

I mean, seriously AJ McCarron is obviously the Ultimate Alabama Place Kick Holder, right?


Okay, looking at the over-all career stats for Alabama punters, no one guy jumps off the list. We have a different leader for pretty much every major stat recorded for punters. Based on the Bear era to present criteria,  Hayden Stockton leads in punting yards in a season with 3,087, though his average of 43.2 only comes in as 6th best all-time. P.J. Fitzgerald leads all punters in career punting yards with 9,485 but his career punt average doesn't even crack the top 10. Cody Mandell actually holds the record for highest punt average in a single season at 44, though his career numbers aren't great either. And guess who has the highest punt average for a career (minimum of 100 punts)? Not Mandell, Fitzgerald or Stockton but Greg Grant with 43.6.

So, this will likely come down to who you remember being a great punter (a guy you actually watched play) and not actually who is the best or most deserving player. #OffseasonProblems

Kick Returner

I figured the best way to decide between the two, cause there really are only two legitimate options, was to look at raw stats.

And boy, I was blown away at what I found...

Javier Arenas David Palmer
Career Punt Return Yardage 1752 866
Punt return yards in a single season 650 386
Average yards per punt return over career 14.1 10.4
Longest Punt Return

87 yards

('08 vs Tulane)

90 yards

('91 vs LSU)

Total kick return yards career 2166 866
Kick return yardage in a single season 657 439
Average kick return yards career 24.1 23.4
Total TD's 7 4


At first, I was just going to let y'all decide between the father/son tandem but man, Shelley's last year, with 100% FG % and his total career percentage, not to mention his pivotal role in the '11 BCS Championship game, forced me to add him to the list.

Leigh Tiffin Van Tiffin Jeremy Shelley
Total FG Attempts 111 88 55
Total FG Made 83 59 44
Field goal % (season) 85.7 76.5 100
Field goal % (career) 74.8 67 80
Points 385 312 304
Longest Field Goal 54 ('09 Clemson) 57 ('85 A&M) :(

*An argument could be made that Jamie Christensen should be considered for the position but sadly his all time career numbers aren't even close to the guys mentioned above. The only stat that he leads in is most game winning field goals at three. Though that's an impressive stat, no other kicker in this era had more than one, it's just not enough to put him up next to the all-time greats, at least statistically.