Much of Alabama’s 2008 success was created throught he play of Alabama’s offensive and defensive line,s and that fact caught the attention of the national media as The Associated Press released its 2008 All-American Team. Alabama placed five on the AP team with three players on first team, one playeon second team and one player on third team. Offensive Tackle â€” Andre Smith, junior, 6-5, 330, Alabama; Center â€” Antoine Caldwell, senior, 6-3, 305, Alabama; Defensive Tackle â€” Terrence Cody, junior, 6-5, 365, Alabama; Safety â€” Rashad Johnson, senior, Alabama; Linebacker â€” Rolando McClain, sophomore, Alabama.
Smith, Caldwell and Cody were first team AP All-Americans. Rashad Johnson was second team AP All-American. Sophomore Rolando McClain was third team AP All-American.
According to the AP: “Alabama put more players on the first team than any school, about 1,000 pounds of linemen. Offensive tackle Andre Smith, listed at 330 pounds, was a unanimous first-team choice, and was joined by center Antoine Caldwell. Crimson Tide nose guard Terrence Cody, listed at 365 pounds, anchored the top-ranked defense in the Southeastern Conference.”
UPDATE: More details
Alabama led the country with three first-team Associated Press All-Americans and ranked second in total All-America selections with five. Oklahoma captured six total AP All-America honors, including two first-team picks while Southern California had two first-team All-Americans and four total All-Americans.
Smith and Caldwell, both consensus first-team All-Americans, anchored the Crimson Tideâ€™s heralded offensive line that helped pave the way for the SECâ€™s No. 2 rushing offense at 196.5 yards per game and a 125.8 passing efficiency that ranked fourth in the league. Smith became Alabamaâ€™s second Outland Trophy winner and was a finalist for the Rotary Lombardi Award while Caldwell was a finalist for the Rimington Trophy, which goes to the nationâ€™s top center.
Cody, another consensus first-team All-American from Fort Myers, Fla., held down the middle of the Crimson Tideâ€™s defensive front that allowed just 78.9 rushing yards per game (fourth nationally). The junior college transfer from Mississippi Gulf Coast required double teams from opposing offensive lines all season while accounting for 23 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble. He also helped the Tide rank third nationally in total defense at 256.9 yards allowed per game.
Johnson, a former walk-on and second-team All-America selection, has developed into one of the finest safeties in college football after accounting for 82 tackles, five tackles for loss (-15), one sack (-7), five interceptions â€“ two of which were returned for touchdowns â€“ and 11 pass break-ups. His 16 passes defended lead the SEC and is tied for 21st nationally. Johnson was selected as a first-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association and was a second-team Walter Camp All-American.
McClain, a sophomore middle linebacker, garnered third-team accolades after leading Alabama with 91 tackles and 11.0 tackles for loss (-44). He ranked second on the team with 3.0 sacks (-22) while intercepting one pass, recording five pass breakups and recovering two fumbles.
2008 Crimson Tide All-Americans
Andre Smith: AFCA, FWAA, Walter Camp, Sporting News, Associated Press
Terrence Cody: AFCA, FWAA, Sporting News, Associated Press
Antoine Caldwell: AFCA, Sporting News, Associated Press
Rashad Johnson: AFCA
Rashad Johnson: Walter Camp, Associated Press
Terrence Cody: Walter Camp
Rolando McClain: Associated Press
Here is the AP summary of the All-America team and a list of the entire team.