Saban Tiders Prominent On All-America Teams

There is some irony in Nick Saban’s recruiting strategy that includes always having an abundance of tight ends. Bama has had very good men at the tight end position in the Saban era, but it is the only posiition in which there has not been a first team All-America selection.

A Nick Saban all-star team of Alabama players would include at least one player at every position in the Saban era, according to records kept by the Southeastern Conference. Including five Crimson Tide players on this year’s All-America teams, Bama has had 27 players selected a total of 31 times as first team All-America since the start of the 2007 season, Saban’s first at Bama.

The selections of wide receiver Amari Cooper, safety Landon Collins, offensive lineman Arie Kouandjio, linebacker Trey DePriest, and punter JK Scott to various teams this year added players at two previously unfilled positions. The Tide did not previously have a first team All-America at wide receiver (hard as it is to believe, Julio Jones was not selected) or punter.

As a matter of trivia, Saban had not previously produced brother All-America players as Arie Kouandjio joined his younger brother, Cyrus Kouandjio, as an All-Amrica offensive lineman.

Alabama’s five 2014 All-America players and their teammates are preparing for the first round of the inaugural College Football Playoff. The Crimson Tide will meet Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1.

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Other than Julio Jones not having been an All-America, the biggest surprise probably is that Bama has been short on All-America defensive linemen, even though the Tide has been at or near the top in defense in the nation in the Saban era.

Looking at the list of Alabama players since 2006 who have made All-America by position:

Quarterback – A.J. McCarron (2013)

Running back – Mark Ingram (2009) and Trent Richardson (2011)

Wide receiver – Amari Cooper (2014)

Offensive line – Andre Smith (2008), Mike Johnson (2009), Barrett Jones (2011 and 2012), Chance Warmack (2012), Cyrus Kouandjio (2012), and Arie Kouandjio (2014)

Center – Andre Caldwell (2008)

Defensive line – Terrence Cody (2008 and 2009)

Linebacker – Rolando McClain (2009), Courtney Upshaw (2011), Dont'a Hightower (2011), C.J. Mosley (2012 and 2013), and Trey DePriest (2014)

Defensive back – Rashad Johnson (2008), Javier Arenas (2009), Mark Barron (2010 and 2011), DeQuan Menzie (2011), Dre Kirkpatrick (2011), Dee Milliner (2012), HaHa Clinton-Dix (2013), and Landon Collins (2014)

Placekicker – Leigh Tiffin (2009)

Punter – JK Scott (2014)

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