Five Tide players on Outland and Nagurski Trophy watch list

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Football Writers Association of America announced the watch lists for the 2010 Outland Trophy and Bronko Nagurski Trophy this week with five Alabama player included on the two lists.

Three Crimson Tide players represented Alabama on the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Preseason Watch List, including safety Mark Barron, defensive lineman Marcell Dareus and linebacker Dont'a Hightower. Offensive linemen James Carpenter and Barrett Jones were selected to the Outland Trophy Preseason Watch List.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is awarded each year to the nation's top defensive player by the FWAA and the Charlotte (N.C.) Touchdown Club. Additional players may be added throughout the season with five finalists being announced on November 18.

Barron started all 14 games for Alabama in 2009 and finished second on the team with 76 tackles while leading the Southeastern Conference with seven interceptions and ranking tied for second with 18 passes defended. Barron was a first-team All-SEC selection and a third-team Associated Press All-American.

Hightower suffered a season-ending injury to his left knee early in the 2009 season but returned to form this spring during practice. He was a 2008 Freshman All-American and has 80 career tackles with 6.5 tackles for loss and one sack.

Dareus has only started four career games for the Tide, but has proven to be a playmaker when he is on the field. He knocked Texas quarterback Colt McCoy out of the BCS National Championship Game with a first-quarter hit and then intercepted a pass at the end of the first half and returned it for a touchdown. He has 37 career stops with nine tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks.

The Outland Trophy goes to the best offensive or defensive linemen in the country. It is selected by the FWAA and has been presented annually since 1946, making it the third-oldest award in major college football. Players can be added to the watch list throughout the season with three finalists chosen in November and the winner being selected at the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show.

Both Carpenter and Jones started 14 games a season ago, and were two of three new starters on the Tide's offensive front. Carpenter was a second-team All-SEC selection while Jones was a second-team Academic All-American and a first-team Freshman All-American. The offensive line helped crank out 403 yards of total offense per game in 2009 and 215 yards rushing that ranked 12th nationally.