Two former Alabama stars to present awards at the 2024 ESPYS
Two former Alabama stars to present awards at the 2024 ESPYS

72 hours before the 2024 ESPYS, the ESPN Press Room announced the presenters and celebrity attendees for the annual awards ceremony.

The Alabama football program will have a strong presence at this year’s ESPYS, as 2021 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Bryce Young and 2009 Heisman Trophy-winning running back Mark Ingram are listed as presenters. It is currently unknown which awards the two will present. Also listed as a participant is seven-time National Champion (six with Alabama) and head coach Nick Saban, who retired on Jan. 10.

The Crimson Tide are nominated for Best Play because their famous “Grave Digger” moment on fourth-and-31 against Auburn is nominated alongside three other nominees: Oklahoma softball’s Jayda Coleman hitting a walk-off home run to help the Sooners win their fourth consecutive championship, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Anthony Edwards outdueling the Utah Jazz’s John Collins for what was later named NBA Dunk of the Year, and reigning NFL MVP/Baltimore Ravens Lamar Jackson catching his own pass and running with it in the AFC Championship game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

On November 25, 2023, after trailing 24-20 for much of the fourth quarter, Auburn botched a punt and gave the ball back to Alabama. Alabama took the ball to first-and-goal, but a bad snap put the Crimson Tide far behind. Then, on fourth down from the 31-yard line, quarterback Jalen Milroe threw a touchdown for Alabama, putting them ahead 27-24 with 32 seconds left, ultimately giving the Crimson Tide the win.

The Alabama football team has won three ESPYs: The first was won by Tyrone Prothro in 2005 for his catch against Southern Mississippi with the “Best Play” award, the second was won by Heisman Trophy-winning wide receiver DeVonta Smith in 2021 as “Best Male College Athlete,” and the aforementioned Young also received the award in 2022.

Shaun Alexander, the great Alabama running back of the late 1990s, also had success in the NFL. In 2006, the Seattle Seahawk won the Best Record-Breaking Performance award after rushing for the most touchdowns in NFL history in a single season (27). Then-San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson won the same award the next year after breaking Alexander’s short-lived record.

The aforementioned Ingram and 2015 Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry have previously been nominated as Best Male College Athlete nominees, but the awards have gone to other NCAA stars. The Crimson Tide football team was also nominated for the Best Game Award in 2021 after Young led Alabama past Auburn in a 24-22 quadruple-overtime thriller, and softball player Jackie Traina was also nominated as Best Female College Athlete in 2012.

Alabama unfortunately came up short in the Best Game and Best Play awards at the 2014 ESPYS after the famous “Kick Six” against Auburn took home both awards. The Tide was also part of a Best Game nomination at the 2011 show for Cam Newton and Auburn’s 28-27 comeback win. In 2015, Ole Miss won Best Upset for its 23-17 win over Alabama at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

In addition, none of Saban’s national championship-winning teams won the Best Team award, and he himself never took home the Best Coach/Manager award.

The ESPYS 2024hosted by Serena Williams, airs live on ABC from the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles on July 11 at 7 p.m. CT.

By Aurora