McClain, Arenas & Saban win SEC honors

Here is the official release from the SEC office:

Tebow, McClain, Arenas, Norman, Black and Saban given league’s top honors

BIRMINGHAM– Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain and Alabama return specialist Javier Arenas were voted as the Southeastern Conference’s top offensive player, top defensive player and top special teams player, respectively, in a vote of the league’s coaches, it was announced on Wednesday.

The league’s coaches also selected Tebow and Vanderbilt return specialist/running back Warren Norman as the league’s scholar-athlete of the year and top freshman performer, respectively. It was the second straight year for Tebow to receive the academic honor.

LSU offensive lineman Ciron Black was selected as the recipient of the Jacobs Trophy, given to the league’s top blocker. Alabama’s Nick Saban was voted by his peers as the SEC Coach of the Year.

All of this year’s individual award winners were named first-team All-SEC in voting by the league’s coaches that was announced on Tuesday, outside of Norman, who was second team. There were no unanimous selections to this year’s individual award winners.

The 2009 first-team All-SEC quarterback from the Associated Press and SEC, Tebow leads the SEC in completion percentage (65.2), is second in passing efficiency (155.6), lowest interception percentage (1.8) and rushing touchdowns (13) in the league. He is the only player in NCAA history to rush and pass for at least 20 touchdowns in a season, with 32 passing and 23 rushing scores in 2007, and ranks first in the SEC’s record book for the most career rushing touchdowns.

McClain was named the 2009 SEC Defensive Player of the Year after leading one of the nation’s top defensive units with 101 tackles, including 12.5 tackles for loss (-58 yards) and four sacks (-36 yards). He also added 14 quarterback pressures, three pass breakups, two interceptions (21 return yards) and forced one fumble. He anchors a defense that leads the nation in scoring defense (11.0 ppg) and pass efficiency defense (88.81 rating) while ranking second in rushing defense (77.9 ypg) and total defense (241.69 ypg). The Tide are also seventh nationally in pass defense (177.82 ypg).

Arenas was a first-team All-SEC selection at two positions. He was selected at cornerback after recording 66 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, five sacks, four pass breakups and three interceptions this season. He was also honored as a return specialist, where he accumulated more than 1,000 return yards and one touchdown this season. The Tampa, Fla., native is also the SEC’s all-time leader with 1,733 career punt return yards, which leaves him 28 yards shy of Wes Welker’s NCAA career punt return record.

Norman broke several SEC and Vanderbilt marks in his first Commodore season. He amassed 1,941 all-purpose yards, breaking a 29-year-old SEC freshman record set by legendary Georgia back Herschel Walker in addition to the all-time Vanderbilt record. Norman also topped the SEC with an average of 161.8 all-purpose yards, becoming the first freshman to lead the league in that stat category since Walker. Norman became just the second SEC player ever to return three kickoffs for touchdowns.

Boasting a 3.66 grade point average as a Family, Youth & Community Sciences major, Tebow has twice been named the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American of the Year. Based on his combined scholastic achievement and campus involvement, Tebow also recently earned induction into the University’s Hall of Fame, one of the most prestigious honors awarded to students by the Division of Student Affairs at Florida.

Black, who was named to the All-SEC first team, has started 52 straight games at left tackle, which tied the school record of consecutive starts set by Andrew Whitworth. With one more start in the Capital One Bowl, Black will become the school’s record holder in that category. Black was a second-team All-SEC selection last season.

Saban has guided the Crimson Tide to a No. 1 BCS ranking and berth in the BCS National Championship Game after compiling a 13-0 record this season and securing the school’s 22nd SEC Championship. Alabama will face No. 2 Texas on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. In three years at Alabama, Saban has compiled a 32-8 (.800) overall record and has led the Tide to back-to-back SEC Western Division titles. The Crimson Tide has won 26 of its last 28 games, dating back to the 2007 season.


Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Tim Tebow, QB, Florida

Offensive Player of the Year
Tim Tebow, QB, Florida

Defensive Player of the Year
Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama

Special Teams Player of the Year
Javier Arenas, RS, Alabama

Freshman of the Year
Warren Norman, RS/RB, Vanderbilt

Jacobs Blocking Trophy
Ciron Black, OL, LSU

Coach of the Year
Nick Saban, Alabama

# – Unanimous Selection

* – Ties