Two Honored

Jeremy Schatz may have been a bit of a surprise. DeMeco Ryans was a no-brainer. Both were honored as Southeastern Conference players of the week Tuesday morning.

Alabama senior linebacker DeMeco Ryans and senior punter Jeremy Schatz were picked as SEC Defensive Player of the Week and SEC Special Teams Player of the Week, respectively, after Bama's 24-13 victory over Arkansas in Bryant-Denny Stadium last Saturday.

Ryans led all tacklers with 15. He also recorded two tackles for loss (minus nine yards) including a sack (minus five yards). He recovered a fumble, returning it for two yards, broke up a pass and recorded a quarterback pressure.

He was also instrumental in the Tide defense allowing only 81 passing yards against the Hogs.

Although it was not a factor in his selection as Defensive Player of the Week, it is interesting that Ryans has totaled 52 tackles in his career against the Razorbacks.

Schatz won his honor despite suffering a blocked punt against the Hogs. That miscue (which was not his fault) aside, Schatz had a career day punting the ball in the Tide's victory over Arkansas. He nailed two punts inside the 20, but the highlight of his day was a career long 72-yard punt that ranks as the 10th longest punt in Alabama history. He finished with a career high 275 yards and a career best average 45.8.

The honor was a first for both athletes and the fourth this season for the Crimson Tide. Tyrone Prothro was named the league's Special Teams player of the week on September 12 and running back Kenneth Darby was named the SEC Offensive Player of the Week last week (September 19).

The honorees and their coaches and teammates now must put the past behind and get ready for the Florida Gators. Bama, ranked 15th in the nation, hosts fifth-ranked Florida at 2:30 p.m. CDT Saturday in Bryant-Denny Stadium. The game will be nationally telecast by CBS. Both teams have 4-0 overall records and 2-0 SEC marks.

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