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12 Tide players earn SEC honors

12 Alabama Crimson Tide players earned slots on Phil Steele’s All-SEC Team. Here’s the press release with all the details:

TUSCALOOSA – The 2008 Southeastern Conference Western Division champion Alabama Crimson Tide had a league-high 12 players earn 13 spots on Phil Steele’s 2008 All-SEC Team, the publication announced Friday morning.

The top-ranked Crimson Tide had more All-SEC honorees than any other SEC team. Georgia was second with 10 selections, followed by LSU and Ole Miss with nine each and SEC Eastern Division champion Florida with seven.

Alabama and Florida each had five first-team honorees while Georgia and LSU were tied for third with four First-Team All-SEC picks.

Representing the Tide on Phil Steele’s First-Team All-SEC squad are junior running back Glen Coffee, junior nose guard Terrence Cody, senior safety Rashad Johnson, sophomore linebacker Rolando McClain and junior left tackle Andre Smith.

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Coffee is one of nine Alabama players to rush for 1,000 yards in a season and ranks third in the SEC with 102.9 yards per game in 2008. He is a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation’s best running back.

Cody, a semifinalist for the 2008 Chuck Bednarik Award, has anchored a defensive front that has held opponents to less than 100 yards rushing eight times in the 10 games he has played.

Johnson was an AFCA First-Team All-American and the Little Rock ( Ark. ) Touchdown Club SEC Defensive Player of the Year. He leads the SEC with five interceptions and has returned two for touchdowns, tying the single-season UA record.

McClain, a finalist for the Butkus Award, is the leading tackler on a defense that ranks in the Top 5 nationally in scoring, rushing, total defense and pass efficiency.

Smith is the only player in college football to be a finalist for both the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award. He has surrendered just one sack in his 11 starts this season and helps pave the way for the Tide’s 201.5 rushing yards per game in 2008.

UA’s four Second-Team All-SEC award winners include junior Javier Arenas as both a cornerback and kick returner, senior center Antoine Caldwell and freshmen receiver Julio Jones.

Arenas is the only player named All-SEC at two different positions this season. He is a two-time SEC Special Teams Player of the Week award winner and is third in the league with 14.7 yard punt return average. Caldwell, who is a finalist for the 2008 Rimington Trophy, has cleared the way for Alabama’s 201.5 rushing yards per game this season. Jones has set Alabama freshman records this season for receiving yards (723) and touchdowns (4).

The Tide also had four Third-Team All-SEC selections, including senior defensive end Bobby Greenwood, freshman running back Mark Ingram, junior offensive lineman Mike Johnson and junior kicker Leigh Tiffin.

Greenwood has 31 tackles, five tackles for loss and four sacks in 12 starts this season for the Tide. Ingram holds the Alabama freshman record with 11 rushing touchdowns this season and ranks sixth in the league with 56.8 rushing yards per game. Johnson has started all 12 games at left guard (11) and left tackle (1) and has earned SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week honors twice this season against Clemson and Mississippi . Tiffin , a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award, is second in the SEC with 1.42 field goals made per game this season.

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