TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama football team placed four players on the 2009 American Football Coaches Association All-American team, the AFCA announced on Thursday.
Alabama sophomore running back Mark Ingram, senior left guard Mike Johnson, junior linebacker Rolando McClain and senior cornerback Javier Arenas were named to the 25-man squad.
The 2009 season marks the second straight year the Crimson Tide has placed four players on the AFCA All-American team. It is also the ninth time since the inception of the AFCA All-American Team in 1945 that one school has had four or more players on one All-American team. Alabama (2008 and 2009), Notre Dame (1966 and 1990) and Southern California (1967 and 2005) are the only schools to accomplish that feat twice.
Ingram is a finalist for three of college football's major awards this season, including the Walter Camp Player of the Year, Maxwell Trophy and Doak Walker Award. In 12 games, he has 221 rushing attempts for 1,429 yards and 12 touchdowns. He is second in the SEC and 11th nationally with 119.08 rushing yards per game this season. He has added 28 catches for 246 yards and three touchdowns and has accounted for 1,675 all-purpose yards this season, an average of 139.6 yards per game.
Johnson has anchored an Alabama offensive line that has paved the way for the 13th best rushing attack in the nation this season with 212.92 yards per game. Alabama has rushed for 200 or more yards eight times this season and has accumulated 400 or more yards of total offense seven times. Johnson was named SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week following the Tide's win over Mississippi State. He has played in a school-record tying 52 games during his UA career.
McClain is a finalist for the Butkus Award and Lott IMPACT Award this season. In 12 games, he leads Alabama with 96 tackles, including a team-best 48 solo stops. He has also added 12 tackles for loss (-57), four sacks (-36), two interceptions (21 yards), two pass breakups, one forced fumble and 11 quarterback pressures. He is a three-time National Defense Player of the Week (Kentucky, South Carolina and Auburn) and a two-time SEC Defensive Player of the Week (Kentucky and Auburn) winner. Against Kentucky, McClain recorded 12 tackles and was responsible for three of the Tide's four takeaways that resulted in 17 points in the 38-20 win.
A semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, Arenas is a play maker on defense and special teams. He is second in the team with 64 tackles and ranks second on the team with five sacks from his cornerback position. Arenas shares the team lead with 12 tackles for loss this season and had added four pass breakups and two interceptions. He was named the SEC Player of the Week following his performance in the win over LSU. He is also the SEC career leader in punt return yards with 1,725 career yards. He needs 37 yards to break Wes Welker's NCAA record of 1,761 career punt return yards.
Alabama accounted for four of the seven SEC players named to the 2009 AFCA All-American Team. The other SEC players included Tennessee defensive back Eric Berry, Florida defensive Joe Haden and Georgia kicker Drew Butler.