Dec. 18, 2009
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama sophomore running back Mark Ingram was named the Sporting News National Player of the Year and six Crimson Tide players garnered All-America honors the publication announced this week.
Ingram, a native of Flint, Mich., headed a group of three first-team All-Americans for the Tide that included left guard Mike Johnson and linebacker Rolando McClain. Terrence Cody and Javier Arenas were named to the second team while Leigh Tiffin was selected to the third team.
Ingram is the first Alabama player in history to win the Heisman Trophy. He was also the 2009 Sporting News SEC Offensive MVP. The sophomore shattered the Alabama single-season rushing record with 1,542 yards and 15 rushing touchdowns. He averaged 118.6 yards rushing per game and 6.2 yards per carry while catching 30 passes out of the backfield for 322 yards and three touchdowns. He compiled 1,864 all-purpose yards and 18 touchdowns this season.
McClain won the 2009 Dick Butkus Award and Jack Lambert Award, given to the nation's best linebacker. The junior led one of the nation's top defensive units with 101 tackles, including 12.5 tackles for loss (-58 yards) and four sacks (-36 yards). He also added 14 quarterback pressures, three pass breakups, two interceptions (21 return yards) and forced one fumble. The 2009 SEC Defensive Player of the Year is the anchor of an Alabama defense that leads the nation in scoring defense (11.0 ppg) and pass efficiency defense (88.81 rating) while ranking second in rushing defense (77.9 ypg) and total defense (241.69 ypg).
Johnson led a rebuilt offensive line that helped clear a path for 215.9 rushing yards per game and 413.77 yards of total offense while surrendering just 1.15 sacks per game to rank 19th nationally. He has played in every game in his UA career and shares the school record with 53 career games played. Johnson was also named to the 2009 AFCA All-American Team and was a first-team All-SEC selection by the SEC Coaches and Associated Press.
Cody, a native of Fort Myers, Fla., garnered second-team accolades along with cornerback Javier Arenas. Cody registered 25 tackles with six tackles for loss as he anchored the middle of the Tide's No. 2 rush defense. Arenas was third on the team in tackles with 66 while recording five sacks, 12 tackles for loss and two interceptions. He was the SEC Special Teams Player of the Year and the conference's career leader in punt return touchdowns (7) and punt return yards (1,733).
Tiffin is Alabama's all-time leader with 378 points and 82 field goals during his 45-game career with the Tide. He has converted 132 career extra points. During the 2009 season, Tiffin has converted 29-of-33 field goal attempts and 38-of-41 extra points. The 29 field goals also established the school's single-season record.
Alabama (13-0, 8-0 SEC) will face Texas (13-0, 8-0 Big 12) in the BCS National Championship Game on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. The game will be nationally televised by ABC Sports.