Tide Coaches, SEC Cite Landon Collins
First of all, Landon Collins was selected by the Alabama coaching staff as one of the Tide's Players of the Week. Later the Southeastern Conference named him the league's defensive player of the week. And Collins, along with Bama linebacker C.J. Mosley, was named to one of the semifinalists watch lists for national awards.
Collins, making the start at strong safety for the injured Vinnie Sunseri, tied for the team lead with six tackles (five solo) and had a forced fumble and an interception. His 89-yard interception return for a touchdown was the first of his career and the fifth-longest in school history.
Collins was named a semifinalist for the Jim Torpe Award on Monday. The Thorpe Award is named after one of history's greatest athletes, Jim Thorpe, and is presented by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and Jim Thorpe Association in Oklahoma City. Collins is one of 15 semifinalists for the Thorpe Award.
Mosley was named as one of the national semifinalists for the Butkus Award.
The Butkus is annually given to the nation's top linebacker while the Thorpe honors college football's best defensive back. Mosley is one of 12 semifinalists in 2013 and was a finalist for the Butkus a season ago.
Alabama has had two winners of the Butkus Award, Rolando McClain (2009) and Derrick Thomas (1988). The Tide's Antonio Langham won the school's only Thorpe Award in 1993, although Mark Barron was a finalist in 2011 and Dee Milliner in 2012.
Mosley has a team-high 59 tackles on the season with 5.5 tackles for loss (10 yards), three pass breakups and four quarterback hurries. Collins is second on the team in tackles with 34 with a team-best five pass breakups, a forced fumble and an 89-yard interception return for a touchdown.
The Butkus Award honors outstanding linebackers at three levels of play, while spreading the word about the I Play Clean™ initiative, which encourages teens to eat well, train hard, and play smart, instead of resorting to performance-enhancing drugs.
Seven Alabama football players – led by Collins -- were recognized by the coaching staff for their performances following Saturday's win over Tennessee. Joining Collins on the coaches' list was Cyrus Kouandjio, Kevin Norwood, and T.J. Yeldon on offense. Collins and Trey DePriest represented the defense. Christion Jones and Dillon Lee were on the special teams list.
Kouandjio had the top grade on the offensive line and totaled five knockdown blocks. The offensive line did not give up a sack as a unit for the fourth consecutive game. Norwood had his first 100-yard receiving game with a career-high 112 yards on six catches. All six of his receptions resulted in either a first down or a score and his TD catch at the end of the first quarter put the Tide up 21-0. Yeldon had a productive day as both a rusher and a receiver with 101 total yards. He ran 15 times for 72 yards and three touchdowns and added three receptions for 29 yards. Alabama now ranks 13th in the NCAA in scoring offense at 41.3 points per game.
DePriest was third on the team with five total tackles and helped limit Tennessee to a 3-of-12 conversion rate on third down. Alabama has held opponents to 10 or less points in seven of eight games this year and leads the nation in scoring defense (9.8 points per game).
Jones had 151 all-purpose, including 106 yards on two kickoff returns with a long of 57. He added two punt returns for 19 yards, one rush for 20 yards, and one catch for six yards. Lee played on punt, punt return, kickoff and kickoff return. He had a tackle inside the 20 on kick coverage and assisted on another tackle as a member of that unit. Lee, who also saw playing time at linebacker, also downed a punt inside the 10-yard line.
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