Dec. 8, 2011
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
The Alabama football team was heavily represented on the Walter Camp All-America Teams, which was announced Thursday. The Crimson Tide had four players earn first team honors while an additional two garnered second team accolades. The six selections were the most of any program.
On the first team offense was junior running back Trent Richardson and junior offensive lineman Barrett Jones. On the defensive side was junior linebacker Dont'a Hightower and senior safety Mark Barron. Senior center William Vlachos and senior linebacker Courtney Upshaw earned second team honors.
Richardson, a native of Pensacola, Fla., is fifth in the nation in rushing yards per game, averaging 131.92, and has scored 23 touchdowns this season, ranking him fifth in scoring at 11.5 points per game. This season, Richardson set the Alabama record for rushing touchdowns in a season with 20. That number also ties him for second most in a season in SEC history.
Jones, a native of Germantown, Tenn., anchors the Alabama offensive line from his left tackle position. He has started 35 career games, including 10 at left tackle in 2011. He has also helped the Tide rank 15th nationally and first in the SEC in rushing (219.83), while blocking for the league's No. 2 scoring offense at 36.0 points per game.
Hightower, a native of Lewisburg, Tenn., is a fourth-year junior for the Crimson Tide. He has started 41-career games and leads Alabama with a career-high 81 tackles in 2011. Hightower has 9.5 tackles for loss (-35 yards) this season with three sacks (-16 yards), one interception, eight quarterback hurries, a blocked field goal and three pass breakups.
Barron, who hails from Mobile, Ala., is second on the team with 66 total tackles. He has four tackles for loss and has two interceptions on the season. Barron has also broken up five passes, recovered a fumble against Penn State and recorded one quarterback hurry. He is the Tide's active leader in career tackles (235), passes defended (34) and interceptions (12).
Vlachos, a native of Mountain Brook, Ala., has started in 39 straight games at center, blocking for 27 100-yard rushers over that span, including 11 this season. In 2011, he has paved the way for Heisman Trophy candidate Trent Richardson, who leads the SEC with 1,583 yards and 23 touchdowns. Despite facing seven of the nation's top 50 defenses in 2011, he has helped the Tide rank 15th nationally in rushing and first in the SEC with 219.8 yards per game.
Upshaw, a native of Eufaula, Ala., leads the team and ranks second in the Southeastern Conference with 17 tackles for loss of 85 yards. He also has a team-high 8.5 sacks (-57), one interception return for a touchdown against Florida, a team-high 11 quarterback hurries and two forced fumbles.