Saban, Johnson honored

Nick Saban and Rashad Johnson won honors from the Little Rock Touchdown Club. Here’s the press release.

Little Rock – The Little Rock (Ark.) Touchdown Club has announced its annual post-season honors and Alabama head coach Nick Saban was named the SEC Coach of the Year, while senior free safety Rashad Johnson was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year.

Saban had led the top-ranked Crimson Tide to a 12-0 record and the SEC Western Division Championship in his second season. Alabama will face No. 2 Florida in the 2008 SEC Championship Game on Saturday, Dec. 6 at 3 p.m. (CST) at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta . Saban’s first perfect regular season as a head coach is an Alabama record for regular season wins. The 1979, 1992 and 1994 Alabama teams won 11 regular season games. Saban has led the Crimson Tide to a 19-6 (.760) mark in his 25-game career for the Tide.

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Johnson is fourth in the SEC in interceptions per game and 12th in tackles per game this season. The Sulligent, Ala. , native leads the Tide with 48 solo tackles, five interceptions and 11 pass break-ups this season. He is second on the team with 73 tackles. Johnson’s three interceptions against LSU tied the single-game school record while his two interception returns for touchdowns (one vs. Arkansas State and one at LSU) ties the Tide’s single-season record.

Johnson is the captain for the Alabama defense that ranks among the top five teams nationally in rushing defense (2nd), scoring defense (3rd), total defense (3rd) and pass efficiency defense (5th) this season.

The Little Rock Touchdown Club recognized Florida quarterback Tim Tebow as the SEC Offensive Player of the Year and Texas ’ quarterback Colt McCoy as the National Player of the Year.

The Touchdown Club’s award banquet will be held on January 10, 2009 at the Embassy Suites. The SEC Coach of the Year will be honored at a separate meeting later in the spring.