Tyrone Prothro earned the honor for his spectacular catch to key an Alabama comeback victory over Southern Mississippi on September 10 in Tuscaloosa. With the Crimson Tide trailing, 21-10, late in the second quarter and facing a fourth-and-12 situation, Prothro caught the Brodie Croyle pass over the head and on the back of a USM defender for a 42-yard gain. The play put the Tide on the USM one-yard line and set up an Alabama touchdown, trimming the deficit to 21-17 and setting the Tide on their way to an eventual 30-21 victory.
Prothro, whose season was cut short by a broken leg suffered three weeks later against Florida, finished the USM game with 279 all-purpose yards including 134 yards receiving on seven catches.
Playing in only five games in 2005, Prothro made 17 catches for 325 yards (19.1-yard average) and three touchdowns. He also averaged 27.6 yards per kickoff return (seven for 193 yards) while averaging 138.2 all-purpose yards per game.
Shaun Alexander, the all-time career leader in rushing yards at Alabama, earned an ESPY for his outstanding performance while leading the Seattle Seahawks to the 2005 National Football Conference (NFC) title and a berth in Super Bowl XL against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Florence, Kentucky, native rushed for 3,565 yards and 41 touchdowns for the Crimson Tide from 1996-99, earning All-America honors in 1999 along with being named Southeastern Conference Player of the Year that season. In 2005, Alexander led the NFL in rushing with 1,880 yards and a league-best 27 rushing touchdowns.
He was particularly valuable in the playoffs as he led the league with 236 rushing yards while scoring two touchdowns. Alexander led all rushers in Super Bowl XL with 95 yards on 20 carries.
The ESPY Awards presented by ESPN are held annually to honor the year’s best sports moments and athletes. The cable network said a record 12.1 million votes were tabulated, with fans voting online to decide the winners for the third consecutive year.
The show can be seen Sunday night on ESPN beginning at 8 p.m. Central time.