5 Best Athletes From Nick Saban Era
Throughout the 14 years Coach Nick Saban has been at Alabama he has had some pretty remarkable athletes. We know he has put the most players into the NFL, but who tops the list of greatest athletes to play for the "GOAT" while at Alabama?
5. Mark Barron
Barron was a two time All-American at the University of Alabama, and he was apart of two national championships while with the Tide. During the 2009 season Barron lead the SEC in interceptions with 7, while also recording 74 tackles.
He was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2012 with the 7th overall pick. Barron is considered one of the best Saban coached athletes, because his ability to produce at both safety and linebacker in college and NFL.
4. Henry Ruggs III
Henry Ruggs III is well known for running one of the fastest 40 yard dashes, where he was clocked at 4.27 at last years NFL combine. Some people do not know Ruggs was an amazing high school basketball talent.
Often Ruggs would find himself at the Alabama student recreational center dunking during pick-up games on regular students. He has a vertical of 42 inches standing at 6 feet tall. Ruggs put up 98 catches and 24 touchdowns during his three seasons under Nick Saban.
Ruggs was selected in the first round in the 2020 NFL Draft by the Las Vegas Raiders,
3. Landon Collins
Another defensive star makes the list. Landon Collins was a highly-rated, 5-star recruit, and everyone wanted him because of his athletic ability. Collins lead the team in his final season in 2014 with 98 tackles. He also forced 8 turnovers while with the Tide.
Landon was drafted by the New York Giants in the first round of the 2015 draft. Collins left Alabama with 190 total tackles along with two defensive touchdowns.
2. DeVonta Smith
This past year's Heisman winner surely wouldn't be left out of this list. Smith had one of the best seasons this past year that any player could have. He is not known for being the biggest guy on the field, but he makes up for it with his athletic ability.
Smith is also like Ruggs in the sense they played basketball together in some pick up games and Smith also showed off tremendous skill. He uses his vertical ability along with his explosiveness to separate himself from the rest.
Smith finished his career at Alabama with 235 receptions, 3,965 yards, and 46 touchdowns, along with two national championships and, of course, the Heisman Trophy.
1. Julio Jones
Hands down, Julio Jones is unlike any other player Nick Saban has coached while at Alabama. He does things nobody at 6-foot-3 230 pounds should be able to do. Jones has a burst of athletic ability that flashed every second while you saw him on the TV screen.
Jones recorded a 4.39 40-yard dash and a 11.25-foot broad jump. Jones was drafted 6th overall in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons. While at Alabama for three years, Jones recorded 179 receptions, 2,653 yards and 15 touchdowns.