Tua Tagovailoa's amazing run at Alabama continued this past Saturday when he became the Crimson Tide's all-time leader in touchdowns passes. His four-touchdown performance against Texas A&M surpassed A.J. McCarron and set his current record at 81 TDs and counting.
Tagovailoa is one of the best signal-callers ever in a program that has fielded three Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterbacks, but where does he currently rank? We’ll take a look, but before we begin, I should note that Bart Starr is not on this list because he played sparsely during his junior and senior years because of a back injury and bad coaching. Now, here are the five best quarterbacks in Alabama history.
5. Ken Stabler (1966-67)
Stabler got the starting job his junior year and helmed one of the best teams in Alabama history, going 11-0. However, that team was denied a third straight national title because the polls split it between Notre Dame and Michigan State. The team struggled with an 8-2-1 record the next season and the "Snake" was briefly kicked off the team for cutting class and partying. Once he returned, he ended things in a memorable fashion. Down 3-0 in the rain in the Iron Bowl, Stabler broke loose in the fourth quarter with a 47-yard touchdown scamper for the win. The play is forever known as the "Run in the Mud."
He was, of course, drafted by the Oakland Raiders and went on to have a Hall of Fame career.
4. Joe Namath (1962-64)
Namath also was briefly kicked off the team his junior year for getting drunk and directing traffic in downtown Tuscaloosa and actually sent Stabler a telegram when the Snake was booted. On the field, he went 27-4 as Alabama's starter and led the Tide to the 1964 national title despite battling the knee injury that would plague him throughout his NFL career.
3. Tua Tagovailoa (2017-present)
Since coming off the bench to beat Georgia in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship, Tagovailoa has thrown 70 touchdowns and only seven picks in his one and a half seasons starting for the Tide. Barring injury or some other unforeseen circumstance, he will likely be atop this list before his time in Tuscaloosa ends.
2. Pat Trammell (1959-61)
The high school superstar from Scottsboro, Alabama, originally planned to go Georgia Tech, but opted for the Crimson Tide when Bear Bryant came back to Tuscaloosa. In his three seasons as starting quarterback, Trammell led Alabama to three straight bowl berths and the 1961 national championship. He forwent the NFL for medical school, but he passed away from testicular cancer at the age of 28 shortly after earning his degree. Bryant said the day Trammell died was the saddest of his life.