The College Football Hall of Fame ballot for the 2012 class was released today, and includes three former Alabama Crimson Tide players. They are Paul Crane, Bobby Humphrey and Derrick Thomas. Here’s a short capsule for each.
Paul Crane, Center/Linebacker. Two-way starter at center and linebacker from 1963 through 1965. Crane earned consensus First Team All-America honors under coach Paul W. Bryant and was a member of back-to-back national championship teams and consecutive Southeastern Conference championships. He was the 1965 SEC Lineman of the Year. He played seven seasons for the Jets between 1966 and 1972. He also served as an assistant to Bryant from 1975 through 1978. Crane currently lives in Mobile and serves as a youth sports director and counselor for the Catholic Youth Organization, Archdiocese of Mobile.
Bobby Humphrey, Running Back. Led Alabama to victories in the Aloha Bowl and two Sun Bowls and was UPI’s Offensive Player of the Year in 1987. He left Alabama with 4,958 all-purpose yards and 40 touchdowns. He played for three years in the NFL for the Broncos and Dolphins, reaching Super Bowl XXIV with Denver and playing against the San Francisco 49ers. He later coached the Birmingham Steeldogs of the Arena Football League. He resides in Birmingham and handles special project sales for a large concrete distributor.
Derrick Thomas, Linebacker. 1988 unanimous First Team All-America and Butkus Award Winner. He led Alabama to four consecutive bowls and won 1988 SEC Defensive Player of the Year. He Set SEC record for sacks in a season (27) and finished career with 74 tackles for loss. Thomas was drafted by the Chiefs in 1989 and he spent his entire career in Kansas City. Thomas suffered paralyzing injuries in a 2007 car crash and later died from complications of his injuries.