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Alabama in the Pros

Four Alabama football alums are in the running for AP NFL Awards

Texans' head coach DeMeco Ryans before the AFC Wild Card game versus the Cleveland Browns.
Troy Taormina - USA TODAY Sports

The University of Alabama has alumni in the National Football League who are performing well.

Four Crimson Tide alums are in the running for NFL Awards via the Associated Press.

RELATED: WATCH: Nick Saban attempts to ride waves on boogie board

DeMeco Ryans, Will Anderson Jr., Jahmyr Gibbs, and Tua Tagovailoa are up for marquee NFL honors.

According to Rob Maaddi, a senior NFL writer for the AP, Ryans is a finalist for NFL Coach of the Year, Gibbs is a finalist for Offensive Rookie of the Year, Anderson is a finalist for Defensive Rookie of the Year, and Tagovailoa is a finalist for Comeback Player of the Year. All four guided their respective teams to the playoffs in the 2023 season. Gibbs, a running back, has the Detroit Lions in the NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers. All four names were decorative players for the Tide.

Ryans, a former Alabama linebacker, took the Houston Texans to the AFC playoffs as an AFC South Division champion. He excelled as a rookie head coach, getting CJ Stroud to work at quarterback and coaching a defense that peaked at the right time.

Anderson, a former Tide edge rusher, made the All-Rookie Team for Pro Football Writers Association and earned Defensive Rookie of the Year from the publication. He finished his rookie season for the Texans with 49 total tackles, seven sacks, 10.5 tackles for loss, a pass breakup, and a blocked kick. He was a two-time Unanimous All-American for Alabama football.

Gibbs, a former Alabama running back, produced a 1,000-yard rushing season (1,044) as a rookie.

He collected 1,443 scrimmage yards (399 yards receiving) and 13 touchdowns for the Lions. Gibbs has proven to be an exceptional runner, pass catcher, and pass blocker for the team. He needed one season (2022) at Alabama to show he was good enough to be a first-round NFL Draft pick. Gibbs turned in 926 yards rushing, 444 yards receiving, and 10 scores in 2022 for the Crimson Tide.

Tagovailoa, a former Tide quarterback, stayed healthy for the Miami Dolphins and produced huge numbers. 

He led al quarterback for passing yards in the regular season (4,624) and had 29 touchdowns.

Tagovailoa finished in the top five to top 10 among quarterbacks in several major passing categories. He dealt with multiple concussions in 2022, but taking judo and jiu-jitsu helped him avoid head injuries. Tagovailoa rescued Alabama to a College Football Playoff National Championship as a freshman in 2017. He became one of the best quarterbacks of the Nick Saban era.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith. 

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Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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