Dec. 9, 2008
2008 Coaches All-SEC Team
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The University of Alabama placed nine players on the 2009 Coaches All-SEC Team, the league office announced today.
Alabama led the way with 10 All-SEC selections, including five first-team and five second-team honorees. Florida was second on the list with nine All-SEC winners, followed by Georgia (6), Kentucky (5) and LSU (5). The Crimson Tide and Gators led the way with five first-team award winners, while Georgia, Kentucky and LSU had three each.
Representing the Tide on the Coaches First-Team All-SEC squad are senior center Antoine Caldwell, junior nose tackle Terrence Cody, senior safety Rashad Johnson, sophomore linebacker Rolando McClain and junior left tackle Andre Smith.
Caldwell, who is a finalist for the 2008 Rimington Trophy, has cleared the way for Alabama’s 196.5 rushing yards per game in his 13 starts this season.
Cody, a first-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association, has anchored a defensive front that has held opponents to less than 100 yards rushing eight times in the 11 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. He also leads UA with 11 pass break-ups.
McClain, a finalist for the Butkus Award, is the leading tackler on a defense that ranks in the Top 5 nationally in rushing, scoring and total defense. He has 91 tackles and a team-best 11 tackle for loss this season.
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 12 starts this season and helps pave the way for the Tide’s 196.5 rushing yards per game in 2008.
UA’s five second-team All-SEC award winners include junior Javier Arenas as both a cornerback and kick returner, junior running back Glen Coffee, junior left guard Mike Johnson and freshman 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 second in the league and 13th nationally with a 14.42-yard punt return average.
Coffee is one of nine Alabama players to rush for 1,000 yards in a season and ranks third in the SEC with 103.6 yards per game in 2008. He was a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation’s best running back.
Jones was named the 2008 SEC Freshman of the Year by the Associated Press on Monday. The Foley, Ala., native has set Alabama freshman records this season for receptions (51) receiving yards (847) and touchdowns (4).
Johnson has started all 13 games at left guard (12) and left tackle (1) and has earned SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week honors twice this season against Clemson and Mississippi.