Nov. 10, 2008
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – University of Alabama senior safety Rashad Johnson and freshman receiver Julio Jones were named Southeastern Conference Players of the Week after the No. 1 ranked Crimson Tide’s 27-21 overtime win at No. 15 LSU this past Saturday in Baton Rouge.
Johnson was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week for the first time this season. Jones was tabbed SEC Freshman of the Week for the third time in 2008. He also earned the award against Western Kentucky (Sept. 13) and Tennessee (Oct. 25). In all, Alabama players have garnered 12 SEC weekly awards this season.
Johnson was also named the Walter Camp Foundation National Defensive Player of the Week on Sunday after recording four tackles, three interceptions and one tackle for loss as the Crimson Tide wrapped up the 2008 SEC Western Division Championship with its first win over LSU since 2002. He had 64 yards in interception returns, including a 54-yard touchdown that tied the game at 14-14 in the second quarter.
Johnson’s three interceptions against the Tigers also tied the Alabama single-game record for picks. That equaled the mark set by Bobby Wilson vs. Georgia in 1951, Dicky Thompson vs. Mississippi in 1966, Jeremiah Castille vs. Tennessee in 1982 and Kevin Jackson vs. Georgia in 1995.
All three interceptions directly led to points. His first interception, on LSU’s third offensive play at the Tigers’ 15-yard line, led to a 1-yard sneak by quarterback John Parker Wilson. Johnson also intercepted a third-down pass in the end zone in overtime to set up the Tide’s game-winning drive.
For the season, Johnson is the Tide’s second-leading tackler with 62 stops, including a team-best 41 solo tackles. He also has added 10 pass break-ups, five interceptions (125 yards, 2 TDs), five tackles for loss (-15 yards), one sack (-7 yards) and one fumble recovery in 10 starts. Johnson leads the SEC and ranks tied for ninth nationally in passes defended with 1.50 per game.
Jones had a season-best seven catches for 128 yards, an average of 18.25 yards per catch in the win over LSU. He has recorded back-to-back 100-yard SEC games against Tennessee (103) and LSU (128). He has 18 catches for 293 yards (16.27 per catch) over his last three games.
For the season, Jones is UA’s leading receiver with 40 catches for 634 yards and four touchdowns. He averages 15.9 yard per catch and 63.4 yards per game. In SEC play, Jones leads the Tide with 25 catches for 465 yards and two touchdowns. He averages 18.6 yards per catch and 77.3 yards per game in six SEC games.
Alabama junior running back Glen Coffee was also listed among the SEC’s “Other Top Performances” after running the ball 26 times for a game-high 126 yards and one touchdown in the win at LSU.