Bear Bryant was possibly the best college football coach of all time. In my book, he was the greatest of all time. But, no matter how you felt about the Bear, he had a lot of success in the 1960s and 1970s at Alabama.
The first Alabama Crimson Tide football team that I was aware of as a child was the 1967 Bama team which I wrote about recently in their win in the Iron Bowl over Auburn. Crimson Tide quarterback Kenny Stabler won the game with his famous Run in the Mud. Mud 1967
One of the guys making the clearing block for Stabler on his run was split end Dennis Homan. In
1967, Homan was one of the consensus All Americans.
The other consensus wide receiver was Ron Sellers of Florida State, but Notre Dame’s Jim Seymour was close, and another All American on the 1967 team.
Homan was a senior in 1967 and he hauled in 54 receptions for 820 yards and 9 touchdowns. Those aren’t great numbers by today’s standards, but in the 1960’s they were good enough for All American status.
Muscle Shoals, Alabama is a small community sitting on the banks of the Tennessee River in northwest Alabama that’s mostly famous for music and recording studios. There are quite a few country musicians from Muscle Shoals, and two famous recording studios.
But, it’s also famous for being the home town of ESPN’s commentator Rece Davis, and football players Ozzie Newsome and Dennis Homan. I will someday get to a blog about Newsome, but today it’s all about Homan.
At Muscle Shoals High School, Homan did it all. He played running back in football, but he also played basketball and baseball as a lot of star athletes do at that level. Recruited by Alabama and Bear Bryant, signing with the Crimson Tide was a no brainer for the talented Homan. Kids generally grow up in the state of Alabama dreaming of playing football for Alabama, or Auburn. But, probably in the western part of the state they are all Bama fans.
Homan was a freshman in 1964, and he just missed out on playing with the legendary Joe Namath. In 1965, Steve Sloan stepped up at quarterback and the Crimson Tide finished with a 9-1-1 record and the Associated Press crowned them national champions.
Homan was a part time player on that team with Tommy Tolleson and Ray Perkins playing ahead of him.
Notre Dame and Michigan State dominated the headlines in 1966 and both of those teams were really talented. They shared the national championship with their famous 10-10 tie game.
But, Alabama finished with an impressive 11-0 record and a 34-7 beating of Nebraska in the Sugar
The late Kenny Stabler took over as quarterback during that season and Ray Perkins was his leading receiver and go to guy. But, Homan caught 23 passes and scored 5 touchdowns.
1967 was Homan’s season, and those 54 receptions came from his buddy, Kenny Stabler.
Although, Homan had a great year, the team had something of a disappointment when they finished with two losses at 8-2-1. Actually, the next three seasons were all down years for the Crimson Tide and Alabama fans were calling for Bear Bryant’s head, before he corrected everything.
Homan was a 1st round draft pick by the Dallas Cowboys in in the 1968 NFL Draft going with the 20th pick.
His NFL career was something of a letdown. Playing three seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, he asked for a trade and he was sent packing to the Kansas City Chiefs where he played another two seasons. After 5 seasons, he was out of the NFL. But, then he played another couple of seasons in the World Football League.
He did get to play in one Super Bowl with the Dallas Cowboys, but overall his career was less than expected.