Tag Archives: Nico Johnson

Coaching staff names captains, other postseason awards

As the Alabama Crimson Tide football team gathered in Birmingham for its annual banquet to not only celebrate its SEC Championship and season as a whole, but also to receive confirmation that the Tide will be playing Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship, there were also some personal awards to give out.

Offensive lineman Barrett Jones, offensive lineman Chance Warmack and defensive lineman Damion Square were named team captains and will have their hand and footprints planted in cement near Denny Chimes at A-Day in 2013.

Here is a list of the other awards and the players who received them.

cj Most Valuable Player

Linebacker C.J. Mosley. Mosley led the team in tackles by a longshot with 99, towering above Trey Depriest, who is in second with 56. Mosley also tied the school record for career defensive touchdowns, with three. Mosley’s interception and 16-yard touchdown return against Michigan was his third, tying the mark set by Antonio Langham (1990-1993).

Iron Man Award

Running back T.J. Yeldon, kicker Cade Foster, H-Back Kelly Johnson and defensive lineman Jesse Williams.

tink Unsung Hero Award

Wide receiver Kenny Bell, defensive lineman Quinton Dial, long snapper Carson Tinker (pictured left, 51), linebacker Xzavier Dickson and place kicker Jeremy Shelley (pictured left, 5).

Outstanding Scholar Senior Award

Barrett Jones and Chance Warmack.

Outstanding Defensive Performer Award

C.J. Mosley and cornerback Dee Milliner

Up-Front Award

Defensive lineman Jeoffrey Pagan, defensive lineman Ed Stinson, offensive lineman Cyrus Kouandjio and offensive lineman Anthony Steen.

Most Inspiring Player

Damion Square

Commitment to Academic Excellence Award

Linebacker Denzel Devall, cornerback Geno Smith, offensive lineman D.J. Fluker, Quinton Dial and offensive lineman Arie Kouandjio

haha Defensive Achievement Award

Linebacker Adrian Hubbard, cornerback Deion Belue, safety HaHa Clinton-Dix (pictured right returning his interception in the SEC Championship game), and linebacker Trey DePriest

Offensive Achievement Award

Wide receiver Amari Cooper, running back Eddie Lacy, T.J. Yeldon and offensive lineman D.J. Fluker

President’s Award

Jesse Williams, safety Robert Lester, Chance Warmack and wide receiver Kevin Norwood

Special Teams Award

Safety Vinnie Sunseri, punter Cody Mandell, wide receiver/punt returner Christion Jones, safety Landon Collins

Defensive Players of the Year

Linebacker Nico Johnson and Dee Milliner

barrett-aj Offensive Players of the Year

Quarterback AJ McCarron and Barrett Jones (pictured together, left)

Pat Trammell Award

Tight end Michael Williams and Nico Johnson

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All photos courtesy of the AP

Lester, Johnson and others taking final bow

As the Alabama Crimson Tide takes the field to let another installment of the Iron Bowl play out, some players will have more than the Auburn Tigers on their mind.

Some will have the honor of standing alongside members of their family before the game and walk through the Senior Day ceremony before they play their final game in Bryant-Denny Stadium.

As they get ready to display their four or five years of hard work for the final time, they can’t help but think it has only been four or five weeks.

“It seems like just yesterday I was redshirting and struggling trying to learn the plays,” safety Robert Lester said.

Linebacker Nico Johnson added, “I feel like I just AP photogot recruited.”

Playing in the Iron Bowl provides a special flashback for Johnson, as he remembers coming to an Iron Bowl as a recruit, and how he almost didn’t come.

“I was getting over the flu, and I was debating if I was going to come or not, but I was here,” Johnson said.

The experience sold him.

“It was my first Iron Bowl, as a matter of fact. It was exciting,” Johnson said. “I was ready to play that day. I was ready to come in and work.”

Work is the operative word for those two and the rest of their class, as they do not want to exit Bryant-Denny Stadium for the final time like the 2010 class did after Auburn came back to beat the Tide 28-27.

“I’m going to go out and give it everything I have like any other game,” Johnson said.

Lester added, “Of course, I want to go out with a ‘W’. It’s sad but it’s exciting at the same time. I can’t really explain what it feels like until that moment actually comes but I know I’m going to miss playing here.”

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For more on the meaning of the Iron Bowl to the senior class, click here to read about the friendly wager Lester has on the game every year.

Nick Saban Press Conference Video: Nov. 19, 2012

Alabama head coach Nick Saban addresses the media to kickoff  Iron Bowl week today, including talking about the team’s focus for the Auburn Tigers, true freshman running back T.J. Yeldon and more.

Coaching Staff Players of the Week: Western Carolina

The Alabama coaching staff has selected its Players of the Week for the week of the Western Carolina game.

Offense: Anthony Steen, Chance Warmack and Michael Williams. The guard duo of Steen and Warmack helped the Tide’s Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon rush for 154 yards in limited action. The starters accumulated 338 yards and 42 points in their 30 minutes of play. Williams caught one pass for 22 yards.

Defense: C.J. Mosley and Nico Johnson. Mosley led the team in tackles (again) with six, one for a loss. Johnson also notched a tackle for a loss on his way to a four-tackle performance.

Special Teams: Landon Collins and Brent Calloway. Collins, a true freshman,  contributed two tackles in kickoff coverage, as did Calloway. Both of Calloway’s stops in kickoff coverage were inside the 20. Collins had one tackle inside the 20 while also downing a punt inside the 10-yard line and forcing a fair catch on another punt.

Alabama’s Achilles Heel? 3rd Down

“You have to execute better,” linebacker Nico Johnson said. ”It’s that simple. We didn’t execute at all starting in the LSU game. We haven’t been getting off the field at all.

“We’ve created good opportunities for ourselves on third down and just haven’t been getting off the field. We’ll have good opportunities like third and more than 12 and we’ll have a bust here and there and it costs us.”

The Tide could be looking to missed tackles as a potential cause for the third down struggles.

“You wouldn’t be asking me about it if it wasn’t an issue,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said to a reporter. “We’ve had more missed tackles, more yards after catch, after contact, the first missed tackle, especially on space plays. That’s one thing we’ve always been is a really good tackling team with a good tackling secondary. That is something that we need to improve on.”

Read my full story on Alabama’s struggles defensively on third down in the last two weeks by clicking here.

Football Practice Notebook: Oct. 2nd, 2012

Coach Saban let us know what he did with the extra day off yesterday and we learned what the players are going to do with their day off on Saturday.

Read about that and more in my practice notebook for today.

Football Player Interviews: Sept. 26, 2012