It is never a surprise when Alabama Coach Nick Saban says that one of his star players is also one of the hardest-working men in practice. This week’s Crimson Tide players of the week, as selected by the coaching staff, following Bama’s 37-10 win over Middle Tennessee State, had a nice mix of stars along with a couple of guys who play outside the spotlight. Three of this week’s honorees are from Texas.
Seven Alabama players were recognized by the coaching staff following Saturday’s victory over MTSU in the home opener.
Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake were the honorees on offense, while A'Shawn Robinson and Jarran Reed represented the defense. Tony Brown, Michael Nysewander, and Maurice Smith made the special teams list.
Henry, a junior from Yulee, Fla., rushed for 96 yards on 18 carries against the Blue Raiders. He found the end zone three more times to push his nation-leading total to six rushing scores in two games. Drake, from Powder Springs, Ga., accounted for 202 all-purpose yards, including a career-best 91 yards receiving on five receptions. He rushed for 40 yards on six carries and added 71 yards on kickoff returns.
On defense, Robinson and Reed both accounted for five total tackles. Robinson, from Fort Worth, Texas, added one tackle for loss and a quarterback hurry while helping the Crimson Tide front limit Middle Tennessee to just 86 yards rushing. Reed, from Goldsboro, N.C., who is honored by the coaching staff for the second straight week, added a fumble recovery, pass breakup, and a quarterback hurry.
Smith, from Sugar Land, Texas, led all tacklers on special teams with two stops on punt coverage, limiting one return to less than three yards and keeping another inside the 20-yard line. Brown, a Beaumont, Texas, native, who is also honored for the second straight week, added one tackle as a gunner on punt coverage and forced two fair catches. Nysewander, a former walk-on from Hoover, had one booming tackle on kickoff coverage inside the 20-yard line.
Alabama is now preparing for the Southeastern Conference opener Saturday against Ole Miss in Bryant-Denny Stadium. Kickoff will be at 8:15 p.m. CDT with television coverage by ESPN.