Alabama football: Sporting News honors

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Ingram Named SEC Offensive MVP; Saban Tabbed SEC Coach of the Year by Sporting News (courtesy of UA)

TUSCALOOSA – Alabama sophomore running back Mark Ingram has been named the 2009 Southeastern Conference Player of the Year and head football coach Nick Saban was named SEC Coach of the Year, when the Sporting News handed out their yearly football awards on Thursday. In addition, the long-time publication named seven UA players to its All-SEC Football Team.

Joining Ingram on the All-SEC squad were senior cornerback Javier Arenas, sophomore safety Mark Barron, senior nose guard Terrence Cody, senior left guard Mike Johnson, junior linebacker Rolando McClain and senior kicker Leigh Tiffin.

The 2009 SEC Champions led the way with seven All-SEC selections on the 26-man team. Florida had the second most All-SEC picks with six, followed by Georgia with three and LSU, Mississippi and Tennessee with two each.

Ingram is the first Alabama player in history to win the Heisman Trophy. He was also the 2009 Associated Press SEC Offensive Player of the Year. The Flint, Mich., native shattered the Alabama single-season rushing record with 1,542 yards this season and 15 rushing touchdowns. He averaged 118.6 yards rushing per game and 6.2 yards per carry while catching 30 passes out of the backfield for 322 yards and three touchdowns. He compiled 1,864 all-purpose yards and 18 touchdowns this season. He was a finalist for the Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Player of the Year.

Saban was named the 2009 SEC Coach of the Year by the league’s 12 head coaches and the Associated Press, after leading the Crimson Tide to a 13-0 record and the school’s 22nd SEC championship and a berth in the BCS National Championship Game against Texas on 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. He is also a finalist for the Liberty Mutual and Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year honors.

Arenas is third on the UA team with 66 tackles this season. He was also second on the team with five sacks and 12 tackles for loss. The 2009 SEC Special Teams Player of the Year, by the league’s head coaches, Arenas has totaled more than 1,000 kick return yards this season and has scored one touchdown. He is the SEC’s all-time leader with 1,733 career punt return yards and seven touchdowns. He is just 28 yards shy of Wes Welker’s (Texas Tech) NCAA career punt return record. He was named to the 2009 AFCA and AP All-American Teams and was a first-team All-SEC selection by the SEC Coaches and Associated Press.

Barron was the Tide’s second-leading tackler this season with 70 total stops. He led the SEC with 17 passes defended and seven interceptions (125 yards), including a 77-yard touchdown against South Carolina on Oct. 17. He also added four quarterback pressures, 2.5 tackles for loss and a half sack this season. He had a season-high eight tackles against Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee. He also added two interceptions and two pass breakups in the win at Mississippi State. Barron was also named to the SEC Coaches and AP First-Team All-SEC squads this season.

Cody anchored an Alabama defensive front that held opponents to 77.9 rushing yards per game, a figure that ranks second nationally. In 13 games this season, Cody recorded 25 tackles and added six tackles for loss. He also tied an Alabama record with two blocked kicks in the win over Tennessee. He was a first-team All-SEC selection by the SEC Coaches and Associated Press. Cody was also a finalist for the Bednarik, Lombardi and Nagurski awards.

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. Johnson has played in every game in his UA career and shares the school record with 53 career games played. Johnson was named to the 2009 AFCA All-American Team and was a first-team All-SEC selection by the SEC Coaches and Associated Press.

McClain is the 2009 Dick Butkus Award and Jack Lambert Award winner 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. The 2009 SEC Defensive Player of the Year was the anchor of an Alabama 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 Crimson Tide also ranks seventh nationally in pass defense (177.82 ypg). McClain was also a first-team All-SEC selection by the SEC Coaches and Associated Press.

Tiffin is Alabama’s all-time leader with 378 points and 82 field goals during his 45-game career with the Tide. He has also converted 132 career extra points. During the 2009 season, Tiffin has converted 29 of 33 field goal attempts and 38 of 41 extra points. The 29 field goals established the single-season school record. Tiffin converted all five field goal attempts in the Tide’s 22-3 win at Mississippi on Oct. 10. He also nailed four field goals in wins over No. 7 Virginia Tech and Tennessee. He was a three-time Lou Groza Star of Stars recipient after wins over Virginia Tech, Mississippi and Tennessee. He was also named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week following the win over Tennessee. He was a finalist for the Groza Award.

2009 Sporting News All-SEC Team

Offensive MVP: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
Defensive MVP: Joe Haden, CB, Florida
Coach of the Year: Nick Saban, Alabama

QB Tim Tebow, Florida
RB Mark Ingram, Alabama
RB Anthony Dixon, Mississippi State
WR Shay Hodge, Mississippi
WR A.J. Green, Georgia
TE Aaron Hernandez, Florida
OL Ciron Black, LSU
OL Mike Johnson, Alabama
OL Maurkice Pouncey, Florida
OL John Jerry, Mississippi
OL Clint Boling, Georgia
K Leigh Tiffin, Alabama
KR Warren Norman, Vanderbilt

DE Carlos Dunlap, Florida
DT Dan Williams, Tennessee
DT Terrence Cody, Alabama
DE Antonio Coleman, Auburn
LB Rolando McClain, Alabama
LB Brandon Spikes, Florida
LB Eric Norwood, South Carolina
CB Joe Haden, Florida
CB Javier Arenas, Alabama
S Eric Berry, Tennessee
S Mark Barron, Alabama
P Drew Butler, Georgia
PR Trindon Holliday, LSU


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