Rashad Johnson on Thorpe Watch List

(UA)Oklahoma City — The 2008 Jim Thorpe Award preseason watch list was announced Tuesday and includes 40 of the nation’s top defensive backs. Alabama senior safety Rashad Johnson was recognized as one of the 40 leading candidates for this year’s trophy.

Johnson started all 13 games last season and led the Crimson Tide with 94 total tackles (57 solo). He was a first team All-SEC selection and led the league with six interceptions. Johnson, a 2007 team captain, also recorded 5.5 tackles for loss, eight pass break-ups, one forced fumble, one sack and two quarterback hurries.

The Thorpe Award is one of college football’s most sought after and prestigious awards. It is named after one of the greatest all-around athletes, a man who excelled as a running back, passer, kicker and as a defensive back. The Thorpe Award is presented annually to the top defensive back in college football.

Alabama has produced one Jim Thorpe Award winner as Antonio Langham was honored in 1993.

Johnson is one of eight SEC players on the watch list. Asher Allen (Georgia), Eric Berry (Tennessee), Emanuel Cook (South Carolina), Trevard Lindley (Kentucky), DJ Moore (Vanderbilt), Captain Munnerlyn (South Carolina) and Derek Pegues (Mississippi State) were the other seven conference representatives.

A committee meets the first Monday in November to narrow the field to 10 or 12 semifinalists. The three finalists, released the Monday before Thanksgiving, are invited to the ESPN College Football Awards Show in Orlando and the winner is announced during the show. The 2008 winner will be presented with the award in Oklahoma City, Okla. on the first Tuesday in February following the college football national signing date.


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  1. 1
    Ballplay Indian

    Congrats Rashad on the nomination. Good news for the Tide. Which leaves the question. Didnt yall say you were talentless?

  2. 3

    API fans are the ones who are claiming we will lose more than seven games next season due to the lack of talent needed. So you tell me!

  3. 5

    Thank you so much for reminding us of that, Barnie in denial. Maybe you should jot that down to remind yourself for when another API debacle unfolds. A lot of fingers were pointed and accusations were made after MSU and USF last season.

  4. 7

    Hamrick: “Api debacle?” We leave the debacles up to you bammers… you have no problem screwing it up.. on another note.. congrats to Johnson.. good player. well deserving.

  5. 8
    Ballplay Indian

    Perman …Wes Byrum K. 1st tea, all SEC. Our center Jason Bosley is on the Remington watch list. Sen derick Marks will be nominated for various awards. We have a young VERY talented team. You will soon see how much “Talent” we have. No seniors locked down at L.B. Johnson and Evans play a good bit. No seniors on the D.L. No full blown senior starters in the secondary. Only 15 seniors in the whole 08 roster!!!!And still pre-season #10. Arguably the most talented across the board D. for their age that Auburn has had in years. Lester, Well miss him. Several senior wideouts that im not so sure well miss. Bosley and Green can be replaced because were deep on the line.

    Next year. well have 20 seniors. All talented.

    The kicker is in 09 well have 37 juniors and 21 sophomores that got the redshirt.

    Talk all the crap you want about our D. You WILL be sorry.

    Remember the name Raven Grey.

    Before yall get too exited about the future reread what I posted about 37 juniors in 09 . add that to the 20 seniors. Thats 57 upper classmen. the last time we were that top heavy was 04.

  6. 9
    Amy 4 Bama

    Who cares? That was 2004 and JFYI, your dream season was nearly crushed by a team who lacked half of their key offensive starters.

  7. 10
    Bama Fan In N Y C


    Don’t forget to note their “MVP’s” (referees), played a huge hand in their 1 point victory over LSU.

  8. 11

    hey ball play indian, to interrupt the argument a sec, by lester do you mean brad lester? if so, what happened to him?

    count this as my signature:

  9. 12

    Tuberville came to the conclusion that he lacked the proper character needed to succeed at such a classy school. Therefore, he released him from the team. Remember, character means more than athletic ability.

  10. 13

    Well … it nice to see that Ballplay Indian is trying to impress people with even more things he doesnt have a clue about.
    Ballplay, No one… Let me repeat this… NO ONE in the SEC is afraid of Auburn. You act like the world should bow in fear when you utter names like Sen’Derrick Marks. I would bet you were the guy that stood in awe of the kick ball heros on your 4th grade team.
    Here is a clue sherlock.
    About the time West Virginia gets through schooling CTF about what a real “spread” should be (complete with a defense who knows it like the back of thier hand) You and the rest of the auburn Juggheads will figure out that all of those great Auburn players you listed above are still the same shitty players they were last year.
    By the way Raven Gray and the Juco crew finished with a 3-6 record at co-lin last year. If that is the future stars of API, You guys are going to suck….

  11. 14
    Ballplay Indian

    Tmac..You know SQUAT…Berman Lester will be playinf 100% this year, Im speaking of 09 . He graduates in 08.

    Back to Tmac. Sen derick Marks is a beast on will own any Bammer O-lineman that tries to block him. Raven grey was THE #1 ranked d-liineman Juco prospect last year. Ask Andre Smith what he thought of Grey. He was the only one who owned him in high school.

    West Viginia is good , but they will not see a defense of Auburns caliber. Not to mention their defense will be much like Bammers. A freekin revolving door.

    And here is a clue for you . The Clemson team that we beat. When they get done demolishing yalls asses, I believe that you will be like a neutered dog. Your attitude will change when you are taken down a notch or two.

    Amy 4 bama Im still waiting on you to iron my shirt.

  12. 15
    Ballplay Indian

    Berman sorry my grammer wasnt all that good. What I was trying to say earlier, was looking into 09 (next season) who we would lose that would effect us. Brad Lester will be missed. But not greatly. Mario Fannin, Ben Tate, and the wealth of young talent should be plenty. What I was sayin is 09 is the year. We will have 57 upper classmen. Another name to look at THIS year is Tristan Davis. He has had a freaky run of injuries for the past two years. Severely broken toe, broken foot. In 05 he led the NATION in punt returns. A ferociuos north south runner with amazing speed. If he hasnt lost a step and can stay healthy, watch out. In 05 when we went to kentucky with an injured Kenny Irons. They moved him from D.B. to tailback. In his first game he had nearly 300 yards rushing.

    Getting back to 09. We will have The best o-line in the SEC. The best D-line in the SEC. Awesome LBs (Blackman, will be a senior, and remember the name Eltoro Freeman). Seasoned D.B.s. It will be one of the best AU defenses EVER.

    The spread will have been mastered by then as well. Tate , Fannin, Burns , Todd, Ziemba, Pugh, Ramsey, (the chop block crew) will dominate.

    09 = bcs title run.

    Tmac = delusion, bitter ,Bammer.

    Tmac, enjoy another 6 – 6 season.

  13. 16

    Smith was being charitable. You know the way most coaches do after they have won a game by 50 points and they say “Well __________ had a lot better team than the scoreboard showed, we just had a few lucky breaks. (CTT would never be that gracious but most other coaches are.)
    Raven Gray….hmmm… lets see who he owned. Well it wasnt most of the teams in the MS. JR college league. That is for sure. Gray Journet and Fairley got fat and slow and spent most weekends getting run over by Jr. College talent. 3-6? Hell they werent even the 3 best players on the team.
    Check this out.


    It is sad when one of your best hope wasnt even noticalbe on a 3-6 JuCo team.

  14. 17

    TMC, I have to disagree with a viewpoint of yours. You are quick to mention, how a player is not that great due to how their season unfolds. Like your example of Raven Gray and other AU JUCO committs and their 3-6 record. Last time I checked football was a team sport, and just because a football team cannot gel together enough to pull out a winning season doesnt mean that certain players are not great. If thats the case Rashad Johnson should not be on this Watch List, for he played on a 6-6 (regular season) team. If team success was based on one, two, or three players…Arkansas should have been Undefeated with Mcfadden and Jones, Florida should have been undefeated with Tebow…and so on. Does that take anything away from how great McFadden, etc were last season…UH NO…maybe if football was a one man sport (equal to tennis or golf), you could have a point. But since it’s not…to me your point isn’t really valid SORRY!!!

  15. 18

    Yes AuGirl, But you missed the point. and that is:

    The Auburn All-star recruits couldnt even make the All-Region team for mississippi. And I find that lacking considering 3 other unknown players on the squad did.
    Yes we have all heard the hype on these guys…big strong monsters and everyone of them supposedly runs faster than a 4.65 40. (which according to friends of mine who live out in hazelhurst and are Co-lin Boosters, is a huge crock of shit.)
    To me that says several things.
    The most apparant being that they arent all they have been hyped to be.
    The second most obvious is even though football is a team sport these guys couldnt even shine against JuCo talent in lowley Mississippi.

  16. 19

    By the way AuGirl.
    Nice to see you here and I am somewhat disappointed you are not Bi-curious.. (Just joking.)

  17. 20

    Yep, you’re right TMC, he didnt make All-Region but you do realize he was side-lined during the season after a knee-injury(which he missed spring practice from, after having surgery)…could that be the case? Raven Gray was one of the top if not the top DE in Junior College his first season…matter of fact he was a 2007 NJCAA Pre-Season 1st team All-American…after his team had a 7-2 season (since you like to mention team records lol!) So once again TMC, your evaluation of Raven Gray is not valid. Guess u will have to evaluate him during the season, or maybe after the Iron Bowl when he puts JPW on his back 11 times…Lol! By the way…thanks TMC, glad to be here but sorry I disappointed u with the non-existence of bi-curious ways!

  18. 21

    Once again look up and you will see were BallplayIdiot said Raven Gray was the “#1 DEFENSIVE D LINEMAN IN JUCO LAST YEAR”. Again and I repeat this. Gray was not even close to the best defensive player on a 3-6 team.Gray was not in the top 10 defensive lineman in Ms. JuCo.

    By the way I am from the MS. Gulf coast. That is were my house in the states is. I keep up with football in MS. like most of you keep up with Auburn and Alabama football. I can tell you in no uncertain terms if you are waiting on Gray, Journet, or fairley to dominate in the SEC give up now and avoid the christmas rush….. They are not what has been promised on the blogsites and their High School recruiting hype turned out to be wrong. According to everyone I know who is a Copiah-Lincoln supporter they turned out to be disappointing.
    My messapge for Balplay, Instead of following what you read on Auburn sites like it is the holy Gospel Why dont you actually go see these kids play or at least find out from someone who has seen them play.

  19. 23
    Ballplay Indian

    Tmac..You are full of crap. Look into it boy. I didnt say it Scout said it. he was not only the #1 DE in that class .. He was one of the top overall. A 5 star recruit.

    Im not impressed by “MyHouse in the states” .. Talk about aroogant. Sheeshh.

    Grey flat out owned Big Andre in High school as well.

    Let me guess. Your “other” on the French Riviera right?

    Au girl dont let his lines impress you. His “other” car is a Yugo.

    My message for you Tmac. You would think 6 slices of humble pie would shut you up. Apparently not. I guess after 2 more you might get it.

  20. 25

    Thanks TMC 🙂 but, Ballplay is right. Raven Gray didnt make All-Region at the end of the season like u stated, but how could he when he didnt play a full season? According to Rivals and Scout he was the top DE in the class. At Rivals.com junior college top 100 “2008” he was ranked #4. He was also ranked the No.2 overall JC Prospect nationally by super prep. Gray had a standout freshman year…EMCC head coach Rodger Carr was quoted saying “They’ve got one of the best defensive ends I’ve seen in junior college football in a long time in Raven Gray.” A LSU site was quoted saying “For any LSU fans celebrating the graduation of former Auburn sack master and first team All-SEC defensive end Quentin Groves, remember the name Raven Gray.” Futhermore you say Nick Saban is a great evaluator of talent well Alabama was recruiting Raven Gray this past season…don’t believe me check out Tidesports.com with Andrew Bone. How Gray pans out at AU, has yet to be seen so debating this issue is pointless. I say he will be great, you say he won’t only time will tell.

  21. 26
    Ballplay Indian

    Definition of a great player on a crap team….05 Demeco Ryans.. He pretty much made a 7-5 Bamma team into a 10-2 Bamma team. Now back to Raven Gray..Tmac with your infinate wisdom you should be able to tell me at what point in the season that HE BLEW HIS DAM KNEE OUT!!!!!! Or did you even know that? The Buloxi Sun Herold seems to disagree with you . Journet,,Freeman,,and Fairley are on their top 15 list of juco players. Speeking of Freeman, I guess you think he sucks too huh? Please taake off the goggles. Saban would kill to have him. If the Scout.com JUCO rankings are out yet, and I think they are. Go take a look and see how they are ranked. then come back and man up. But you wont do that will you? Freeman will be a 5 star (possibly). Grey.. a 5 star.. Journet was a 5 star but did not qualify. But we dont need him right away so it dont matter. And Au girl… tmac dont care about facts. Fact are like Kryptonite to a Bammer.

  22. 27
    Ballplay Indian

    Tmac .. Look up Ravens Videos on scout and other websites. While I have not seen him play in person , I have watched plenty of video on him and on Freeman. They are as good as advertised. i have also seen plenty of video on J.J. ,,J.H. and several other bama players. I am not going to say that they arent that good . They are great. I do think that J.J. may be a little over rated. But I also think that J.H. is under rated. I hate to say it but I will. Rolondo Mclain and Jarrell Harris could make up a duo at L.B. that could be as good as anybodys. There,,,,I said it. I think I just puked in my mouth.

    Facts are like Kryptonite to a Bammer

  23. 28

    Ball play.
    Here you go….


    I am currently in Traralgon, Vic, AU and if you need a more current newspaper as proof just ask. I have a place about a mile west of Biloxi in gulfport and I also have a house in North Alabama, too. and currently my other car is a Holden Commodore Executive.
    If you need anymore proof that you dont know what the hell you are saying just ask for it…

  24. 29

    If that still isnt good enough for you, and since you obviously trust the Auburn media in these things just ask Charles Goldberg…He can vouch for me….

  25. 30
    Ballplay Indian

    Touchy!!! Whats a Holden ? ..Never heard of one.. A high end YUGO? just kiddin,,,dont blow a gasket..

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