Dec. 22, 2008
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama football team had seven players earn All-America honors from Pro Football Weekly it was announced on Monday, including two first-team selections.
The Crimson Tide’s powerful offensive line garnered both first-team selections with left tackle Andre Smith and left guard Mike Johnson. Smith, a consensus first-team All-American, and Johnson anchored the left side of the Crimson Tide’s heralded offensive line that helped pave the way for the SEC’s No. 2 rushing offense at 196.5 yards per game and a 125.8 passing efficiency that ranked fourth in the league. Smith became Alabama’s second Outland Trophy winner and was a finalist for the Rotary Lombardi Award.
The Tide had five players earn honorable mention accolades, including wide receiver Julio Jones, nose guard Terrence Cody, linebacker Rolando McClain, free safety Rashad Johnson and return specialist Javier Arenas.
Cody, another consensus first-team All-American from Fort Myers, Fla., held down the middle of the Crimson Tide’s defensive front that allowed just 78.9 rushing yards per game (fourth nationally). The junior college transfer from Mississippi Gulf Coast required double teams from opposing offensive lines all season while accounting for 23 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble. He also helped the Tide rank third nationally in total defense at 256.9 yards allowed per game.
Rashad Johnson, a former walk-on and second-team All-America selection, has developed into one of the finest safeties in college football after accounting for 82 tackles, five tackles for loss (-15), one sack (-7), five interceptions – two of which were returned for touchdowns – and 11 pass break-ups. His 16 passes defended lead the SEC and is tied for 21st nationally. Johnson was selected as a first-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association and was a second-team Walter Camp All-American.
McClain, a sophomore middle linebacker, garnered third-team accolades after leading Alabama with 91 tackles and 11.0 tackles for loss (-44). He ranked second on the team with 3.0 sacks (-22) while intercepting one pass, recording five pass breakups and recovering two fumbles.
Jones, a native of Foley, Ala., produced an amazing rookie campaign in Tuscaloosa, setting school freshman records for receptions (51), receiving yards (847) and touchdowns (4). He finished fourth in the Southeastern Conference in receiving yards per game at 65.15 and seventh in catches per contest at 3.92. Jones is also quickly moving up the Tide’s single-season receiving charts, ranking fifth in receiving yards and tied for eighth in receptions.
Arenas, who was a second-team All-America selection by Phil Steele, garnered honorable mention honors from Pro Football Weekly. He averaged 14.42 yards per return to rank second in the SEC and 13th nationally. Arenas, who is the Tide’s leader in punt returns for touchdowns, scored on punt returns of 87 and 80 yards in 2008.
2008 Crimson Tide All-Americans
- Andre Smith: AFCA, FWAA, Walter Camp, Sporting News, Associated Press, Pro Football Weekly
- Terrence Cody: AFCA, FWAA, Sporting News, Associated Press
- Antoine Caldwell: AFCA, Sporting News, Associated Press
- Rashad Johnson: AFCA
- Mike Johnson: Pro Football Weekly