Dec. 19, 2009
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama seniors Javier Arenas, Terrence Cody, Mike Johnson, Colin Peek and Leigh Tiffin were invited to play in the 2010 Senior Bowl it was announced Saturday afternoon.
The Crimson Tide seniors will travel to Mobile, Ala., and join other future NFL prospects for the 61st annual Under Armor Senior Bowl on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2010 at Ladd-Peeples Stadium. The game and practices will be televised by the NFL Network.
“We also had five guys announced today in the Senior Bowl, which is a great opportunity for those guys and hopefully we’ll get some other guys in some other all-star games so they can do that,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said.
Four of the five invitees (Arenas, Cody, Johnson and Tiffin) were recently selected to the Associated Press’ first team All-American squad, marking the most All-Americans from one team to play in the Senior Bowl. Arenas, Cody and Johnson are also consensus All-Americans. Peek was a first team ESPN the Magazine Academic All-American and a second team All-SEC tight end.
”This is without a doubt the most decorated group of Alabama players we have ever had in the Senior Bowl,” Senior Bowl President and CEO Steve Hale said. “These five outstanding players are a big reason Alabama is 13-0 and playing for a National Championship and we’re excited about all of them representing the Crimson Tide in Mobile next month.”
Arenas, in addition to his All-American honors, earned first team All-SEC (AP & Coaches) selections and was named the SEC Special Teams Player of the Year. The Tampa, Florida native is the SEC career leader in punt return yardage (1,733) and punt returns for a touchdown (7), both marks he set this season. He enters the BCS National Championship just 28 yards shy of the NCAA mark for career punt return yards. As a cornerback, Arenas is third on the team in tackles with 66 on the season and has notched five sacks on the year.
Cody, a native of Fort Myers, Florida, is only the second Alabama player ever to earn consensus All-American honors twice. He was also a first team All-SEC pick by both the AP and Coaches. The mammoth defensive tackle is literally and figuratively a big reason why the Crimson Tide has not allowed a 100-yard rusher in the last two seasons. A finalist for the Lombardi, Nagurski and Bednarik Awards this season, Cody single-handedly saved the Tide’s unbeaten season with two blocked field goals, including one in the final seconds, in a 12-10 win over Tennessee this season. He is a part of a defensive unit that ranks first in the SEC and second in the nation in total defense, allowing just over 241 yards per game.
Johnson, a veteran on the Tide’s offensive line with 41 career starts, is a key part of an Alabama offense that ranked fourth in total offense (413.8 ypg) and third in rushing offense (215.8 ypg) in the SEC this season. The offensive guard and Pensacola, Florida, native also helped pave the way for Heisman Trophy winning running back Mark Ingram.
After sitting out last year due to transfer rules, Peek made the most of his lone season with the Tide, earning second team Associated Press All-SEC honors this year. The tight end reeled in 26 passes this year for 313 yards and three touchdowns, including a score in the SEC Championship against Florida.
Tiffin will leave Alabama as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 378 points and counting. A first team AP All-American and All-SEC selection (AP & Coaches), Tiffin was also a Lou Groza Award finalist this season. The Muscle Shoals, Alabama native has hit on 29 of 33 field goals and 38 of 41 extra points in 2009. He ranks first in the nation in field goals made and second all-time in SEC history in points scored. His 29 field goals this season and 82 for his career are both Alabama records.
“It will be a good chance to make some connections and meet some people,” Tiffin said after Saturday’s practice. “This is a good chance for me to showcase what I can do.”