Alabama players finalists for national awards

Tons of news about Alabama football players today. I’m going to consolidate them into one post. Enjoy.

Mark Ingram Named Finalist for Doak Walker Award and Maxwell Trophy
TUCSALOOSA – Alabama sophomore running back Mark Ingram has been named a finalist for two major college football awards, it was announced Monday.

The Flint, Mich., native is a finalist for both the Doak Walker Award and the 73rd Maxwell Trophy. In 11 games this season, Ingram leads the SEC and ranks fifth nationally with 127.2 rushing yards per game. He has 205 rushing attempts for 1,399 yards and 12 touchdowns. He averages 6.8 yards per attempt this season. Ingram also has 25 catches (2nd most on the team) for 225 yards and three touchdowns. He leads the Tide with 1,624 all-purpose yards (147.6 per game) and 15 touchdowns.

Ingram is joined by Stanford Toby Gearhart and Clemson’s C.J. Spiller as the three finalists for the Doak Walker Award, which is presented annually to the top running back in college football by the SMU Athletic Forum. The winner will be announced on the 2009 Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards show on Thursday, Dec. 10 in Orlando, Fla. The award will presented at the 2009 Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet in Dallas on Friday, Feb. 19, 2010.

He is joined by Texas quarterback Colt McCoy and Florida quarterback Tim Tebow as the three finalists for the 73rd Maxwell Trophy, which is presented to the best player in college football by the Maxwell Football Club. The announcement of the winner of the Maxwell Trophy will also be made during the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show. The formal presentation will be made at the Maxwell Football Club’s Awards Dinner, to be held on Friday, March 5, 2010 at the Harrah’s Entertainment Complex in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Ingram continued his incredible season with 102 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries in the Tide’s 45-0 win over Chattanooga on Saturday. He scored on runs of 25 and 40 yards before exiting the game with just under 10 minutes left in the second quarter with his sixth 100-yard game this season.

Ingram needs 72 yards to break Bobby Humphrey’s single-season record of 1,471 yards set during the 1986 season. Against top 25 teams, Ingram is averaging 178 yards per game in wins over Virginia Tech, Mississippi, South Carolina and LSU.

He was named SEC Player of the Week following wins over Virginia Tech and South Carolina. In the win over the Gamecocks, Ingram set a Bryant-Denny Stadium record with 246 rushing yards in the 20-6 win. He was also named midseason All-American by The Sporting News.

Terrence Cody Named Finalist for Chuck Bednarik Award
Alabama senior nose guard Terrence Cody has been named a finalist for the 2009 Chuck Bednarik Award, the Maxwell Football Club announced Monday afternoon. The Bednarik Award, now in its 15th year, is presented annually to the best defensive player in college football.

A 2009 Sporting News midseason All-American, Cody is now a finalist for three major defensive awards this season. The Ft. Myers, Fla., native is also a finalist for the Lombardi Trophy and the Bronko Nagurski Award.

Cody is joined by Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes as the three finalists for this year’s Bednarik Award.

A member of the 2008 FWAA All-America team, Cody anchors an Alabama defensive front the leads the SEC and ranks second nationally in rushing defense. The Crimson Tide has allowed only 2.4 yards per carry and 70.55 rushing yards per game this season.

The Crimson Tide defense leads the nation in total defense (225.18 ypg) and pass efficiency defense (82.5 rating) this season. Alabama is second in the SEC and second nationally in scoring defense (9.91 ppg) and second in the SEC and fifth nationally in pass defense (154.55 ypg) through 11 games.

Alabama has held nine of its 11 opponents to less than 100 yards rushing and four of the 11 opponents to less than 200 total yards in a game. Alabama has held six teams to a touchdown or less this season.

Cody has recorded 22 tackles, including five tackles of loss (-10 yards), two quarterback pressures and one pass breakup for the nation’s second-ranked team. He recorded three tackles and blocked a school-record tying two field goals in the Tide’s 12-10 win over Tennessee on Oct. 24. He was named the AT&T All-America and SEC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Vols, which included two blocked kicks in the final 10 minutes of the game, with the second one coming on the game’s final play.

The announcement of the winner of Bednarik Award will be made during the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show that will be broadcast on ESPN on Thursday Dec. 10, 2009. The formal presentation of these awards will be made at the Maxwell Football Club’s Awards Dinner, to be held on Friday, March 5, 2010 at the Harrah’s Entertainment Complex in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Leigh Tiffin Named Finalist for Lou Groza Award
Alabama senior kicker Leigh Tiffin is one of three finalists for the 2009 Lou Groza Award, the Palm Beach County Sports Commission announced Monday afternoon. The Groza Award is presented annually to the top kicker in college football.

Tiffin is joined by UCLA’s Kai Forbath and Georgia’s Blair Walsh as the finalists for this year’s award.

The Muscle Shoals, Ala., native is the Crimson Tide’s all-time leading scorer with 362 career points. He has successfully converted 128 extra points and 78 field goals in his UA career. Tiffin is also tied with Phillip Doyle for the most field goals in school history with 78. He tied the career mark in Alabama’s win over Chattanooga last weekend. His 128 career extra points are the fourth-most in school history, trailing his father’s (Van) all-time record of 135 extra points from 1983-86.

Tiffin has also tied the Alabama single-season record with 25 made field goals this season. He also made 25 field goals as a sophomore in 2007, breaking Doyle’s single-season record of 24 field goals set in 1990. Tiffin ranks second on the school’s single-season scoring list for kickers for 109 points this season.

A three-time Groza Award “Star of Stars” winner this season, Tiffin is second among NCAA kickers in total field goals made (25) and field goals made per game (2.27) this season. He is also second nationally in scoring this season among kickers with 9.91 points per game. Texas senior Hunter Lawrence leads all kickers with 10.18 points per game this season.

Tiffin earned Groza Award recognition for his efforts against Virginia Tech (4-for-5 FG and 2-for-2), Mississippi (5-for-5 FG and 1-for-1 PAT) and Tennessee (4-for-4 FG). He was also tabbed the SEC Special Teams Player of the Week following the Tide’s 12-10 win over Tennessee on Oct. 24.

The three finalists will be honored in Palm Beach County at the 18th Annual Lou Groza Collegiate Placekicker Awards Banquet on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach, Fla. The 2009 Lou Groza Award will be presented Thursday, Dec. 10 during the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Javier Arenas Named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week
Alabama senior return specialist Javier Arenas has been named the Southeastern Conference Special Teams Player of the Week following his performance in the Tide’s 45-0 win over Chattanooga on Saturday, the league office announced Monday morning.

Arenas became the SEC’s all-time leader with his seventh career punt return touchdown when he recorded a 66-yard return in the second quarter that put the Crimson Tide in front 28-0. He finished the day with two punt returns for 68 yards. On defense, he added three tackles, a half tackle for loss, a 21-yard interception return and two quarterback pressures. He totaled 89 all-purpose yards in less than two quarters of playing time on Saturday.

The Tampa, Fla., native is the eighth different Crimson Tide player to earn SEC weekly honors this season. In fact, Alabama has had at least one SEC Player of the Week winner in 10 of its 11 games this season, including Mark Ingram (Virginia Tech and South Carolina), Trent Richardson (Florida International and Arkansas), Rolando McClain (Kentucky), William Vlachos (Mississippi), Leigh Tiffin (Tennessee), Terrence Cody (Tennessee), Mike Johnson (Mississippi State) and Arenas (Chattanooga).

The Alabama coaching staff recognized seven players of the week following the win over Chattanooga, including Drew Davis, Julio Jones and Trent Richardson on offense, Rolando McClain and Arenas on defense and Robert Lester and Leigh Tiffin on special teams.

Davis helped clear a path for a season-high 313 yards rushing for the Tide and did not give up a sack or a hurry as the Tide cranked out 422 yards of offense. Jones caught three passes for 65 yards and a touchdown. He first snared a 44-yard reception before following with a 19-yard touchdown grab in the first quarter, his fourth of the season. Trent Richardson ran nine times for 60 yards and a touchdown. He averaged 6.7 yards per carry while only playing in the first half.

McClain claimed his seventh defensive player of the week honor from the coaching staff. He accounted for a team-high seven tackles, half of a tackle for loss, one pass breakup and three quarterback hurries in just one half of play on Saturday.

Tiffin connected on five extra-point attempts and nailed his only field goal, a 42-yarder in the third quarter, while averaging 68.7 yards on kickoffs with two touchbacks. Robert Lester made three special teams tackles on coverage units.