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Crimson Tide Top 5: Specialists

Throughout the month of June, Bama Central writers will pick the best five players in each Alabama sport, and for each position group in football

Putting together top five lists for most positions regarding Alabama football is challenging given the Crimson Tide's illustrious and long history, and one would think specialists would be easy but it's actually more difficult than it seems. 

There's Adam Griffith, who is known for his 57-yard attempt in the 2013 Iron Bowl, which would have tied for the longest kick in program history as freshman but bounced back to score over 350 points in his career. 

There's Michael Proctor, who went 131-for-132 on extra points and scored over 320 points in his 47 games with the Crimson Tide.

Then there's Will Reichard, who is an active player and coming off a perfect 2020 season where he converted on 98 attempts and on a trajectory that could see him as Alabama's all-time leading scorer when his time is up in Tuscaloosa.

5. K Jeremy Shelley

Following in Leigh Tiffin's footsteps was never going to be easy, but Shelley made it look that way as the Crimson Tide's primary kicker from 2010-2012.

Overall, he went 172-of-175 on extra points and 44-of-55 on all field goals, which is second-most in program history for field-goal percentage at 80 percent. His best season came as a senior in 2012, when he went a perfect 80-for-80 on all kicks, helping him eclipse the 300-point mark for his career.

Shelley was awarded the Vlade Award that year by the Touchdown Club of Columbus, which goes to the nation's most accurate kicker.

4. K Van Tiffin

Van was automatic on extra-point attempts in his Alabama career going 135-of-135 from 1983-1986. That was a Crimson Tide record until his son, Leigh, broke it 23 years later by one. 

He is widely-known for his heroic 52-yard field goal in the 1985 Iron Bowl that allowed Alabama to defeat Auburn, 25-23, as time expired but he also owns the school record for longest make, which was from 57 yards out against Texas A&M in 1985.

By the time he left Tuscaloosa, Van had scored 312 points and was 59-of-88 on his career attempts.

3. K Philip Doyle

Doyle's record six-made field goals in a single game still stands 31 years later after he did it in 1990 against Southwestern Louisiana. With how offenses have changed college football altogether, his 19-point performance could very well stand for another decade or even longer.

He ranks second in career makes at 78, third all-time in career points at 345 and was a consensus All-American in 1990. During that 1990 campaign, Doyle went 25-of-25 on extra points and 24-of-29 on field-goal attempts with a long of 47 yards.

Doyle held almost every Alabama-kicking record until Leigh Tiffin in the late 2000's. 

2. K Leigh Tiffin

Leigh left Alabama in 2009 as the Crimson Tide's leading scorer and still holds that title to this day with 385 points. He connected on 136 of his 142 extra-point attempts and 83 of his 111 field-goal attempts. 

His 83 makes and 111 attempts are program records and his 74.8 field-goal percentage is another program-record for any kicker with a minimum of at least 80 attempts. 

In 2009, Leigh went 30-of-35 on field-goal attempts and 72-of-81 overall on his way to helping the Crimson Tide capture its first national championship in nearly 20 years. Those 30 makes are a single-season Alabama record. He was named a finalist for the Lou Groza Award that season.

Leigh and his father, Van, are the only two kickers in Alabama history to make at least two 50-or-more yards field goals in the same game. Leigh did it in 2007 against Mississippi State when converted from 39, 50, 29 and 50 yards out.

1. P JK Scott

Scott, a two-time First-Team All-SEC selection in 2014 and 2016, consensus First-Team All-American as a freshman and Second Team All-SEC honoree in 2017, was an absolute weapon for the Crimson Tide during his time at the Capstone. He booted 243 punts in his career for a total of 11,074 yards with an average of 45.6, all of those are program records. 

To put his yardage numbers into perspective, PJ Fitzgerald who is second in most categories, recorded 238 punts in his four-year career and is still 1,589 yards behind Scott.

Of Scott's 243 punts, 108 of them landed inside the 20-yard. That's pinning the opponent deep in their territory at a clip of over 44 percent.

As a member of two national championship teams in 2015 and 2017, Scott was eventually taken in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers with the 172nd overall pick. He is the highest-selected Alabama specialist in the NFL  draft of all-time. 

The Crimson Tide Top 5 will appear every day during the month of June on BamaCentral

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