Media members select two award winners at Alabama’s final scrimmage of the spring. Our crew discussed both Robert Foster and Ardarius Stewart, wide receivers, for the Dixie Howell Award as the game’s most valuable player. McNair and Clark went with Stewart, Steadham with Foster.
As it turned out, the two sophomores split the award. Playing for the White team, Foster had six catches for 125 yards and Stewart had eight receptions for 118 yards and two touchdowns.
Our reporting crew agreed on our choice for the Stephenson Award, which is named for the former great Crimson Tide center, is to be given to a lineman, which has also included linebackers over the years. All three of the ’BAMA Magazine/BamaMag.com votes when for linebacker Reuben Foster, who had five primary tackles and two assists and a tackle for loss and was also instrumental in breaking up three screen passes, though he didn’t get official credit for passes broken up. But Foster didn’t get the award.
We suspect that many in the media thought the Stephenson Award should go to the best CENTER in the game. Thus, Ryan Kelly got the award.
Here are other award winners – presented by Coach Nick Saban as selected by the coaching staff for their entire spring practice work -- among our notes from A-Day:
Lee Roy Jordan Headhunter Award – Dominick Jackson, Reuben Foster
Paul Crane Offensive Lineman Award – Ryan Kelly
Ray Perkins Receiver Award – Robert Foster
Woodrow Lowe Linebacker Award – Reggie Ragland
Derrick Thomas Community Service Award – Keith Holcombe and Josh Casher
Ozzie Newsome Most Improved Freshman Award – Ronnie Harrison, Rashaan Evans, Ross Pierschbacher, Blake Barnett, J.C. Hassenauer, David Cornwell, DaShawn Hand, Anthony Averett, Christian Miller, Bo Scarborough
Mal Moore Leadership Award – A’Shawn Robinson and O.J. Howard
Captains were center Ryan Kelley, tailback Derrick Henry, tailback Kenyan Drake, and tight end O.J. Howard for the White. Defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson, offensive lineman Brandon Greene, and linebacker Reggie Ragland for the Crimson.
Prior to the game, Coach Saban and three of the four 2014 captains – Blake Sims, Jalston Fowler, and Amari Cooper – took part in the Walk of Champions ceremony at Denny Chimes, where the players hand- and foot-prints are placed in cement alongside previous captains. A fourth captain from last year’s Southeastern Conference championship team, Landon Collins, was unable to attend because of a commitment to an NFL team as pro teams and prospective pro players prepare for the NFL draft. Collins, though, made it to Tuscaloosa shortly after the start of the game and performed his part of the ceremony in Bryant-Denny Stadium at halftime.