Crimson Tide Holds Annual Football Awards Banquet (courtesy of UA Media Relations)
BIRMINGHAM â€“ The 2009 Southeastern Conference Champion University of Alabama football team held its annual awards banquet Sunday night at The Cahaba Grand Conference Center in Birmingham, Ala.
Alabama head football coach Nick Saban addressed an audience that included members of the team, coaching staff, administration and support staff following the awards session. Saban recapped the Tideâ€™s 2009 SEC Championship season and outlined his teamâ€™s goals for the upcoming BCS National Championship Game with the Texas Longhorns.
Alabama also named its permanent team captains for the 2009 season. The Tide elected senior cornerback/return specialist Javier Arenas, senior left guard Mike Johnson and junior linebacker Rolando McClain. The captains will have their hand and foot prints cemented at Denny Chimes prior to annual A-Day Game next spring.
Junior linebacker Rolando McClain and sophomore running back Mark Ingram were named the 2009 Most Valuable Players. McClain leads the Tide with 101 tackles and 12.5 tackles for loss this season. He is a finalist for the Butkus Award and Lott IMPACT Award this season. Ingram set the Alabama single-season rushing record with 1,542 rushing yards. He is a finalist for the Doak Walker Award, the Walter Camp Trophy and the Maxwell Award.
Ingram and Johnson were also named the Crimson Tideâ€™s Offensive Playerâ€™s of the Year. Johnson led a rebuilt offensive line that helped clear a path for 215.9 rushing yards per game and 413.77 yards of total offense while surrendering just 1.15 sacks per game to rank 19th nationally.
McClain and senior nose guard Terrence Cody were named the Tideâ€™s Defensive Playerâ€™s of the Year. Cody had 25 tackles and six tackle for loss and played a key role in the Tideâ€™s run defense this season. He also tied an Alabama record with two blocked kicks in the win over Tennessee.
Seniors Arenas, P.J. Fitzgerald and Leigh Tiffin were named Special Teams Playerâ€™s of the Year. Arenas is the SECâ€™s al-time leader with 1,733 career punt return yards and needs just 29 yards to break Wes Welkerâ€™s NCAA record of 1,761 yards. Fitzgerald averaged 42.1 yards on 51 punts this season. He had eight punts of 50 or more yards and landed 16 kicks inside the 20-yard line. Tiffin is the schoolâ€™s career leader in scoring and field goals. He also holds the UA single-season record with29 field goals this season.
Seniors Brian Selman and Colin Peek were awarded the Outstanding Senior Scholar Award, while Johnson, McClain, Arenas, sophomore receiver Julio Jones, redshirt freshman offensive lineman Barrett Jones and junior quarterback Greg McElroy were presented with the Commitment to Academic Excellence Award.
University of Alabama President Dr. Robert E. Witt presented Kareem Jackson, Marquis Maze, Ali Sharrief and William Vlachos with the annual Presidentâ€™s Award. Former Alabama All-American John Croyle was given the Jefferson County Alumni Association Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Senior offensive lineman Drew Davis and linebacker Cory Reamer were named the recipients of the 2009 Pat Trammell Award.
The complete list of award winners is as follows:
Iron Man Award:
Marcell Dareus, William Vlachos, Trent Richardson, Barrett Jones, Roy Upchurch
Commitment to Academic Excellence Award:
Mike Johnson, Julio Jones, Rolando McClain, Javier Arenas, Barrett Jones, and Greg McElroy
Outstanding Senior Scholar:
Brian Selman and Colin Peek
Unsung Hero Award:
Darius Hanks, Robby Green, Marquis Johnson, Preston Dial, Courtney Upshaw, and Justin Woodall
Outstanding Defensive Performer Award:
Rolando McClain and Javier Arenas
Brandon Deaderick and Lorenzo Washington; and from the offense James Carpenter and Mike Johnson
Most Inspiring Player:
Defensive Achievement Award:
Marcell Dareus, Mark Barron and Eryk Anders
Offensive Achievement Award:
Greg McElroy, Julio Jones and Colin Peek
Kareem Jackson, Marquis Maze, Ali Sharrief and William Vlachos
Special Teams Award:
Javier Arenas, P. J. Fitzgerald and Leigh Tiffin
Defensive Player of the Year:
Rolando McClain and Terrence Cody
Offensive Player of the Year:
Mark Ingram and Mike Johnson
Pat Trammell Award:
Drew Davis and Cory Reamer
Jefferson County Alumni Association Distinguished Alumnus Award:
Most Valuable Player:
Mark Ingram and Rolando McClain
Javier Arenas, Mike Johnson and Rolando McClain