Like offensive linemen, fullbacks don’t receive a lot of recognition from the press. Many of them aren’t awarded the ball often, but fullbacks play a significant role in an offense’s success.
A fullback’s responsibility is to guide a running back. Fullbacks can either led running backs into the hole or set an edge outside. When a fullback does its job correctly; it’s then rewarded with carries on goal line situations or a reception out the backfield.
Unlike running backs and receivers, Alabama doesn’t recruit many fullbacks. The ones that landed a spot at Alabama really put in work and produced on the gridiron. Here is a list of the top five fullbacks in Alabama history.
Top 5 Fullbacks
5. Steve Whitman (1977-79)
- Whitman was one of three fullbacks that blossomed in the latter years of Paul Bryant.
- He recorded 1,126 yards rushing and six touchdowns in his career.
- Whitman’s best season was in 1979.
- In 1979, he totaled 653 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
- With Alabama, Whitman was a three-time SEC Champion (1977-79).
- He was a three-time Sugar Bowl Champion (1977-79) and a two-time national champion (1978-79) with the Crimson Tide.
4. Billy Jackson (1978-80)
- After Johnny Davis, Jackson took the reins at fullback for Alabama.
- He rushed for 1,404 yards and seven touchdowns in his career.
- Jackson’s most prolific season came in 1980.
- He amassed 606 rushing yards and five touchdowns in 1980.
- As a receiver, Jackson totaled 108 yards and one touchdown.
- He was a two-time SEC Champion (1978-79).
- Jackson was a two-time Sugar Bowl Champion (1978-79).
- He won two national titles with Alabama in 1978 and 1979.
- The Kansas City Chiefs selected Jackson with the 180th pick (seventh round) in the 1981 NFL Draft.
- In four seasons (1981-84), Jackson totaled 1,365 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns.
3. Martin Houston (1989-92)
- Under Billy Curry and Gene Stallings, Houston was productive at fullback.
- He had 1,042 yards rushing and five touchdowns for his career.
- 1992 was Houston’s best season, yards wise (457).
- He recorded 144 yards receiving in his career.
- Houston helped Alabama become SEC Co-champions in 1989.
- He was an SEC Western Division Champion and SEC Champion in 1992.
- Houston won a national title with Alabama (1992 season).
- He made four bowl appearances with the Tide.
- Currently, Houston is a sports radio personality. He and Baron Huber host the Houston and Huber Show on Tide 99.1.
2. Le’Ron McClain (2003-06)
- Under Mike Shula, McClain was a great blocker and displayed good hands as a receiver.
- In 85 plays, McClain totaled 575 yards and 10 touchdowns in his career.
- He had two rushing scores, but caught eight touchdown passes.
- McClain recorded 405 yards receiving at Alabama.
- He made three bowl appearances with the Tide, including the 2006 Cotton Bowl Classic. Alabama defeat Texas Tech 13-10 in the contest.
- McClain was selected in the fourth round (137th pick) of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens.
- In 2008, he rushed for a team-high 902 yards and 10 touchdowns.
- In four seasons (2007-10), McClain made two playoff appearances with the Ravens.
- He played two seasons (2012-13) with the San Diego Chargers and made the playoffs in 2013.
- McClain has totaled 1,310 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns in his career.
- He’s recorded 557 receiving yards and three touchdowns.
- McClain was a two-time Pro Bowler (2008, 2009).
- He made NFL All-Pro twice (2008, 2009).
1B. Kevin Turner (1988-91)
- Turner was a versatile fullback under Bill Curry and Gene Stallings.
- 1991 was his best season rushing.
- Turner totaled 430 yards and three touchdowns in 1991.
- He recorded 1,018 rushing yards and six touchdowns in his career.
- Tuner amassed 95 receptions for 928 yards and five touchdowns.
- He was an SEC Co-Champion in 1989.
- Turner made four bowl appearances with Alabama.
- The New England Patriots selected Turner with the 71st pick (third round) in the 1992 NFL Draft.
- In three seasons (1992-94), Turner rushed for 302 yards and a touchdown with New England.
- He collected 856 receiving yards and six touchdowns with the Patriots.
- Turner spent his next five NFL seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles.
- He had 1,159 receiving yards and four touchdowns from 1995-99 (Philadelphia).
- Turner ended his eight-year career with 2,015 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.
- He collected 635 yards rushing and a touchdown.
- Turner made one playoff appearance with New England (1994).
- He made two playoff appearances with Philadelphia (1995, 1996).
1. Johnny Davis (1974-77)
- Davis was the best fullback in the 70s under Paul Bryant.
- He led Alabama in rushing in three of four seasons.
- 1975 and 1976 were Davis’s best seasons.
- In 1975, he rushed for 820 yards and seven touchdowns.
- Davis recorded 668 yards rushing and seven touchdowns in 1976.
- He finished his career with 19 rushing touchdowns.
- Davis’s 2,519 career rushing yards ranks him 9th all-time.
- He was a two-time All-SEC selection (1975, 1977).
- Davis won the Dixie Howell Memorial MVP Award in 1975.
- He was three-time SEC Champion (1974, 1975 and 1977).
- Davis won a Sugar Bowl title with Alabama in 1977.
- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Davis with the 30th pick (second round) in the 1978 NFL Draft.
- He played 10 seasons (1978-87) in the NFL with Tampa Bay, Cleveland and San Francisco.
- Davis’s best season was in 1981 with the 49ers.
- He totaled seven touchdowns and accomplished a Super Bowl title.
- Davis helped San Francisco win Super Bowl XVI against Cincinnati 26-21.
- For his career, Davis had 1,094 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns.
Tarrant Lynch (1990-94)
- Under Gene Stallings, Lynch was a polished fullback.
- He totaled 859 rushing yards and five touchdowns in his career.
- Lynch excelled in catching passes out the backfield.
- He collected 518 yards receiving and two touchdowns in his career.
- Lynch was a three-time SEC West Division Champion (1992, 1993 and 1994).
- He was an SEC Champion in 1992.
- Lynch was a member of the 1993 national championship team.
Baron Huber (2006-09)
- He was the first fullback on the field for Alabama in 2008.
- Under Nick Saban, Huber helped the Crimson Tide’s running game average 184.6 yards per game (third in the SEC) in 2008.
- He was a staple for Alabama on special teams (kickoff unit).
- Huber made four bowl appearances with Alabama, including the 2009 Sugar Bowl.
- He was a member of the 2009 national championship team.
- Huber won the Derrick Thomas Community Service Award in 2009.
- He and Martin Houston now host a sports show on Tide 99.1 called Houston and Huber.
Jalston Fowler (2010-present)
- Fowler is an exceptional blocker with good hands.
- He’s totaled 669 yards rushing and five touchdowns in his career.
- 2011 was Fowler’s best season rushing (385 yards rushing, four touchdowns).
- He caught five touchdowns in 2013.
- Fowler has made four bowl appearances with Alabama.
- He won an SEC title in 2012.
- Fowler is a two-time national champion (2011 and 2012 seasons).
- If Fowler can stay healthy, he will be very special.