Midseason Sporting News All-American
Midseason Sporting News All-American
2009 (JUNIOR): Rolando McClain anchors and deep and talented linebacker corps that has helped the Crimson Tide rank fourth nationally in total defense (242.22 ypg) and second in rush defense (68.22) ... responsible for all on-field audibles and defensive calls ... a semifinalist for the Lombardi Award, Butkus Award and Bednarik Awrad ... a midseason All-American by Sporting News ... a veteran of 32 starts over his three seasons at the Capstone, McClain has a team-best 66 tackles in his nine starts in 2009 ... third on the team with 7.0 tackles for loss (-28) and has two sacks (-19) ... second on the team and 11th in the SEC with two interceptions ... has been the defensive player of the week by the UA coaching staff six times in nine games this season ... named the Bronko Nagurski Award National Defensive Player of the Week following the Kentucky game. Virginia Tech: Led Alabama's defensive effort that surrendered just 64 yards rushing and 155 total yards against the Hokies ... made five total tackles with a team-high two sacks (-19). FIU: Again stuffed the opposing teams' rushing attack as the Panthers managed just one yard on 26 rushing attempts ... logged 10 total tackles with six solo stops and 1.5 tackles for loss (-3) ... added a quarterback hurry. North Texas: Started but gave way to reserves early in the third quarter as the Tide opened up a big lead ... notched three total tackles as UNT managed just 61 yards rushing and 186 total yards. Arkansas: Logged five tackles with four solo stops ... had one tackle for a loss of two yards ... held the Razorbacks to just 254 total yards, which is 284 yards below their average and just 63 yards rushing. Kentucky: Showed why he is the most complete linebacker in the country against the Wildcats ... in his first full game without his fellow inside linebacker Dont'a Hightower, McClain took over the game for the Tide with a season-high 12 tackles - eight solos - forced a fumble that was returned 45 yards by Courtney Upshaw for a touchdown, broke up a pass, had a quarterback hurry and intercepted a pass and returned it 25 yards to set up another Alabama touchdown ... was named the Bronko Nagurski Award National Defensive Player of the Week and the SEC Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts. Mississippi: Was a force with another all-around game, this time against the No. 22 Rebels ... registered seven total tackles with four solo stops and a tackle for loss (-2) ... intercepted a pass for the second straight game ... had one quarterback hurry as the Tide held UM to 197 total yards and just 57 yards rushing. South Carolina: Made seven tackles as the Tide held their opponent out of the end zone for the second straight game ... had five solo tackles and a tackle for loss (-2) ... registered two quarterback hurries and broke up a pass. Tennessee: Continued his defensive domination with an eight-tackle effort against the Volunteers ... it was his fourth straight game with at least seven tackles ... had half of a tackle for loss. LSU: Was all over the field against the No. 9 Tigers ... led the team with nine tackles while LSU spent most of the evening running away from McClain ... had one quarterback hurry ... helped the Tide limit the opposing rushing attack to less than 100 yards for the eighth time this season.
2008 (SOPHOMORE): McClain not only established himself as one of the leaders on Alabama's defense as a sophomore, but as one of the best linebackers in the SEC and the country ... the heady mike linebacker had a firm grasp of what the Crimson Tide was trying to accomplish in its complex 3-4 defensive scheme ... a finalist for the 2008 Butkus Award, given to the nation's top linebacker ... third-team All-American by the Associated Press ... a first-team All-SEC selection by the Associated Press, Sporting News, SEC coaches and Phil Steele ... started all 14 games in 2008 ... made a team-high 95 tackles while being the focal point of opponent's blocking schemes ... ranked 12th in the SEC at 6.8 tackles per game ... recorded 12 tackles for loss (-45) that ranked seventh in the league and 3.0 sacks (-22) ... had six pass breakups, an interception and two fumble recoveries ... was on the Lombardi Award watch list ... earned the Alabama Coaches' Defensive Player of the Week Award nine times in 14 games... ESPN.com's Chris Low called him the best middle linebacker in college football ... led a defense that held its opponent under 100 yards rushing in 11-of-14 games and to 60 yards or less eight times ... Alabama's ranked second nationally in rushing defense at 74.1 yards per game and third in total defense at 263.5 yards per game ... named the Crimson Tide's Outstanding Defensive Performer and Defensive Player of the Year by the team ... was a first-team midseason All-American by Phil Steele ... earned Academic All-SEC honors. Clemson: McClain registered three total tackles, including a solo stop as the Alabama defense held the Tigers to no offensive touchdowns, zero yards rushing and just 188 total yards. Tulane: He was all over the field in UA's 20-6 win over Tulane with a team-, season- and career-high 15 tackles ... made 10 solo stops, two tackles for loss (-5) and had a pass breakup ... the 15 tackles vs. Tulane is the second most in a single game in the SEC this season ... earned defensive player of the week honors for his work by the Alabama coaching staff. Western Kentucky: McClain logged three tackles in the Tide's 41-7 romp over the Hilltoppers ... notched his third tackle for loss of the season for six yards ... Alabama's defense held WKU to just 158 total yards and a mere 42 on the ground. Arkansas: He made four solo stops and eight total tackles against the Hogs and was named one of the Crimson Tide's Defensive Players of the Week. Georgia: McClain made his presence felt with a team-high five tackles ... had four solo stops and half of a tackle for loss (-2) ... had two pass breakups after the Tide shut down the Bulldogs` running game (50 yards on 16 carries) and took a commanding 31-0 halftime lead that forced them to pass. Kentucky: He made a team-high 10 tackles with four solo stops ... recovered a first-quarter fumble and returned it four yards for a touchdown ... helped the Crimson Tide hold the Wildcats to just 35 yards rushing. Mississippi: McClain made four tackles and broke up his second pass of the season against the Rebels ... he also had his second quarterback hurry of the year. Tennessee: He was the focal point of the Volunteers' blocking scheme but still managed to make four tackles with half of a TFL (-1) ... matched a season and career high with two pass breakups ... led a defense that surrendered just 173 total yards, including just 36 on the ground ... was the fifth time during the season that the Crimson Tide allowed 50 or less yards rushing and the seventh time it held its opponent under 100 yards rushing. Arkansas State: McClain made six total tackles with 1.5 TFL (-11) and one sack (-10) ... notched one quarterback hurry ... helped limit the Red Wolves to 158 yards of total offense with 67 yards through the air and just 91 on the ground. LSU: He recorded eight total tackles, including a team- and game-high 2.5 tackles for loss (-6) ... intercepted his first pass of the season and weaved his way for 12 yards on the return, breaking multiple tackles and carrying defenders. Mississippi State: McClain turned in one of those special performances that aren't seen often in college football ... registered 11 total tackles with six solo stops, which was his third double-digit tackle game of the season ... had a career-high two sacks (-12) ... suffered a laceration on his hand breaking up a pass ... missed just part of one series and returned to the game after getting it stitched up at halftime. Auburn: He was all over the field against the Tigers, holding them to just 57 yards rushing and 170 total yards ... notched five total tackles with two solo stops ... recorded one tackle for loss (-1), his 11th of the season and recovered a fumble. Florida: McClain tied for a game-high nine tackles with seven solo stops ... helped limit the high-powered Gators to nearly 100 total yards below their season average. Sugar Bowl vs. Utah: He recorded four tackles, including three solo stops against the Utes ... made one tackle for loss (-1) and broke up one pass by Utah quarterback Brian Johnson.
2007 (FRESHMAN): He was a first-team Sporting News Freshman All-American ... also a first team Freshman All-SEC selection by league coaches ... played in all 13 games with eight starts, including starting in each of the first five games of the season ... was fourth on the team with 75 tackles on the season ... also had five tackles-for-loss, a sack, four pass breakups, three quarterback hurries and two interceptions ... had his best game at Auburn in the regular-season finale ... recorded a career-high 15 tackles to lead the team against the Tigers ... also made his first career interception and returned it 23 yards to the Auburn 19-yard line in the second quarter of the Iron Bowl game ... made five stops, including 0.5 for loss, to go with two pass breakups and his second pick against Colorado in the PetroSun Independence Bowl ... intercepted a pass on the first CU play from scrimmage, returning it 17 yards to set up an Alabama field goal and played the remainder of the game with a broken thumb ... had 11 tackles, including six solo stops and one for a loss against Georgia ... had eight tackles, including one TFL, against Florida State ... made eight tackles in the win over Arkansas ... recorded seven stops against No. 3 LSU ... had seven tackles, including one for loss, to go with a pass breakup in his collegiate debut against Western Carolina ... made six stops, including a sack and a pass breakup, at Vanderbilt ... earned coaches Co-Defensive Player of the Week honors at Auburn ... McClain was awarded the 2008 Lee Roy Jordan Headhunter award following 2008 spring practice.
HIGH SCHOOL AND PERSONAL DATA: McClain was one of the top linebackers in the nation as a prep at Decatur High School ... ranked No. 25 among all players by Rivals.com ... listed second among all inside linebackers nationally by Rivals.com ... was the No. 1 player in the state according to Rivals.com ... one of 13 linebackers on The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Top 100 list ... ranked as the No. 10 linebacker nationally on Scout.com ... Orlando Sentinel 2006 All-Southern team member ... a Parade All-American ... selected to play in the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. ... tallied 106 tackles and 13 for loss as a senior ... also earned All-State honors as a tight end on offense ... an All-Region 8 linebacker selection ... had 104 tackles, including 11 for loss, with four sacks, an interception, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery as a junior ... also had 24 catches for 436 yards in his junior season ... also started on the basketball team ... coached by Jere Adcock.
MCCLAIN'S CAREER HIGHS Tackles: 15 vs. Auburn, 2007 & Tulane, 2008 TFL: 2.5 vs. LSU, 2008 Yards Lost: 9 vs. Vanderbilt, 2007 Sacks: 2 vs. Mississippi State, 2008 Yards Lost: 12 vs. Mississippi State, 2008 QB Pressure: 1 (3 Times) Last vs. Arkansas State, 2008 Interceptions: 1 (3 Times) Last vs. LSU, 2008 Return Yards: 23 vs. Auburn, 2007 Fumble Return: 1 vs. Kentucky, 2008 Return Yards: 4 vs. Kentucky, 2008 Touchdowns: 1 vs. Kentucky, 2008 Long Play: 17 vs. Colorado, 2007 PBU: 2 vs. Georgia, 2008 & Tennessee, 2008