TUSCALOOSA, Ala.- The Sporting News released its SEC All-Freshman teams and freshman players of the year on Thursday with four Alabama football players honored, including Prince Hall who was named the SEC Defensive Freshman of the Year.
Andre Smith was named to the offensive squad and Hall received a spot on the defensive side. Two of the three specialists named to the team also play for the Crimson Tide, with P.J. Fitzgerald named the punter and Javier Arenas the kick returner. With four representatives, Alabama tied Auburn for the most on the list.
Hall, a redshirt freshman from Moreno Valley, Calif., was one of Alabama's top defensive players over the second half of the season. He started the final seven games of the season to give him eight starts in 12 games. Over the final seven games he led the team with 50 tackles, including eight tackles for a loss. He finished the season third on the team with 71 tackles and a team-high 10.5 tackles for a loss. He was second on the squad with two sacks and two fumble recoveries. He returned one of those fumbles 50 yards for his first career touchdown at Florida.
Smith, a true freshman from Birmingham, became just the seventh true freshman since 1972 to start the season opener. He started all 12 games at left tackle and led the team with 800 total snaps. He played 65 or more snaps in nine of the 12 games. Some highlights included five knockdowns against Vanderbilt and four knockdowns against Louisiana Monroe. He also played on the extra point and field goal units.
Fitzgerald, a redshirt freshman from Coral Springs, Fla., punted in all 12 games for the Crimson Tide. He averaged 38.3 yards per punt on 52 attempts. He hit a long of 55 yards in the season opener against Hawai'i. He placed 18 punts inside the 20-yard line with only one touchback. He also forced opponents to call for 14 fair catches.
Arenas, a true freshman from Tampa, Fla., served as the primary kick and punt returner for the Tide this season. He returned a punt 65 yards for his first career touchdown against Florida International. He finished with 30 punt returns for 200 yards, an average of 6.7 yards per return. He also averaged 19.7 yards per kick return with 18 returns for 354 yards. He had a long of 31 yards.
SPORTING NEWS 2006 SEC ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM
WR Percy Harvin, Florida
WR Damian Williams, Arkansas
TE Tommy Trott, Auburn*
OL (T) Ciron Black, LSU*
OL (C) Josh McNeil, Tennessee*
OL (T) Andre Smith, Alabama
OL (G) John Jerry, Mississippi
OL (G) Ronnie Wilson, Florida*
QB Tim Tebow, Florida
RB LaMarcus Coker, Tennessee*
RB Anthony Dixon, Mississippi State
L (T) Sen'Derrick Marks, Auburn*
L (E/T) Ricky Jean-Francois, LSU*
L (T) Kade Weston, Georgia
L (E) Eric Norwood, South Carolina
LB Tray Blackmon, Auburn*
LB Rodney Paulk, South Carolina
LB Prince Hall, Alabama*
DB (FS) Aairon Savage, Auburn*
DB (CB) Trevard Lindley, Kentucky
DB (CB) Darlron Spead, Vanderbilt*
DB (S) Emanuel Cook, South Carolina
K Joshua Shene, Mississippi
P P.J. Fitzgerald, Alabama*
KR Javier Arenas, Alabama
OFFENSIVE FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Percy Harvin, WR, Florida
DEFENSIVE FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Prince Hall, LB, Alabama*
* denotes redshirt