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Throwback Thursday: Is Alabama Quarterback U?

Before Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa, the Crimson Tide had a long line of stars at quarterback

Alabama is known for running backs, linebackers, linemen and any position on the field. However, Alabama’s quarterbacks have a history of success unlike most other schools.

The program cover above from 1983 lists many star quarterbacks from 1922 to 1982. Everyone has heard of Joe Namath, Bart Starr and Ken Stabler, but the others shown were all great Crimson Tide players and some were major award winners.

There are at least nine men pictured who were on a national championship team. Some others quarterbacked Alabama to top-10 finishes and a lot of bowl victories.

Many of these quarterbacks continued on to the NFL, some with stellar careers.

Alabama’s All-Americans have been many at every position, but no one can question the quarterback legacy of Alabama football.

Alabama's QBs Named All-Americans


1925 Pooley Hubert

1935 Riley Smith

1964 Joe Namath

1965 Steve Sloan

1967 Kenny Stabler

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1994 Jay Barker

2013 AJ McCarron

2018 Tua Tagovailoa


1961 Pat Trammell 

1983 Walter Lewis

1994 Jay Barker

2017 Tua Tagovailoa 

Alabama QBs in College Football Hall of Fame

Harry Gilmer, 1944-47: One of the all-time football legends at Alabama, Harry Gilmer’s deftness in passing, running, tackling, returning kicks and kicking highlighted an extraordinary career. An AllAmerica and SEC Player of the Year in 1945, Harry was voted MVP of the Rose Bowl after leading Bama to a 34-14 victory over Southern California. His 16 career interceptions rate as second-best in Alabama history, while his 436 punt return yards in 1946 are the best in Bama annals. Gilmer accounted for 52 touchdowns in his Crimson Tide career, an Alabama school record. In 1946, he led the team in passing, rushing, interceptions, punt returns and kickoff returns.

Pooley Hubert, 1922-25: The second All-American football player in the school’s history, he was a four-year letterman on Alabama teams that had a combined record of 31-6-2, including a 1925 squad that went unbeaten and made the Tide’s first bowl appearance. He quarterbacked Alabama to the first of six Rose Bowl appearances and led the Tide to a 20-19 victory over Washington. Alabama fell behind 12-0 but Hubert rallied the Tide by scoring one TD and passing to Johnny Mack Brown for another. He was elected to the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame in 1964.

Riley Smith, 1934-35: A converted fullback, a position he played in 1933, he quarterbacked Alabama in 1934-35, earning All-America honors. He also won the Jacobs Award, given annually to the SEC’s best blocker. Still considered one of the best blockers in Alabama football history, he came back from an injury to lead the Tide to impressive wins over Georgia (17-7) and Tennessee (25-0) in his senior year. In the win over the Vols, he threw for one touchdown and ran for another. He was selected to the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame in 1985.