This summer, Tar Heel Blog will profile the top 25 players in the history of the North Carolina football program. The rankings were determined by votes from readers and staff.
Algernon “Alge” Crumpler came to UNC as a decorated football and track star from New Hanover High School. Playing most of his freshman season on Special Teams, he was named as one of the Most Outstanding Special Team Players for the 1996 season and helped the team earn a record of 10-2.
As a sophomore, Crumpler made more of an impact on the offense. During the 1997 season, he hauled in a career-high 24 receptions for 278 yards and another career-high four touchdowns. He was fifth on the team in receptions. He capped his sophomore season with a six-catch, 77-yard performance in the 42-3 shellacking of Virginia Tech in 1998 Gator Bowl. He was named to the 1st-Team All-ACC as a tight end after being a major factor in UNC’s 11-1 record.
During a spring practice in 1998, Crumpler tore his ACL and was forced to sit out the season.
When the 1999 season rolled around, Crumpler came back strong. With Ronald Curry (No. 24 on this list) securely at the helm, Crumpler hauled in 20 catches for 191 yards. He was, again, named to the 1st-Team All-ACC as a tight end, mainly for his dominance as a blocker.
Again taking throws from Ronald Curry, Crumpler’s senior season saw him reel in 23 receptions for a career high 287 yards. He was named as an All-ACC 1st-Teamer for the third time in his career.
Crumpler was selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the second round (35th overall) in the 2001 NFL Draft. Coincidentally, his first NFL start came against the home-state team, Carolina Panthers, on September 23rd, 2001. During his ten-year NFL career, Crumpler was a four-time Pro-Bowler. In addition to playing for the Falcons (2001-07), he saw action with the Tennessee Titans (2008-09) and New England Patriots (2010) before ultimately retiring in 2010.