Ryans, Croyle Permanent Captains

Senior strong linebacker DeMeco Ryans and senior quarterback Brodie Croyle were elected as permanent captains for the 2005 University of Alabama football team, Alabama Head Coach Mike Shula announced following Saturday morning's practice at Southern Methodist University in University Park.

Ryans and Croyle were elected captains by the Alabama teammates in a vote this week in Dallas.

"We elected permanent captains and DeMeco Ryans and Brodie Croyle were selected to represent this football team," Shula said. "There were a lot of guys that were worthy for this honor, so that speaks highly for DeMeco and Brodie to be selected. They will take part in the traditional ceremony at A-Day of getting their hand and footprints at Denny Chimes."

Ryans will play his 50th and final game at UA on Monday in the 70th AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic.

"This means everything to me," Ryans said following Saturday's practice. "This honor caps off my career at Alabama. It really means a lot to me to be a part of the one the greatest traditions going at the University of Alabama.

"I never put my hands or feet in anyone else's prints, but from the first time I saw then I knew that one day I wanted my hand and footprints at the base of Denny Chimes. It's a real honor."

Croyle is Alabama's all-time leader in completions, passing yards and touchdowns.

"This is another reason why you come to play football at the University of Alabama," Croyle said. "A goal of every player is to have his hand and footprints at Denny Chimes. It has a great honor to be recognized with all the other great Alabama players that have come through here."

He has completed 469 of 838 passes for 6,107 yards and 40 TDs in his UA career. The 2006 AT&T Cotton Bowl will be the first bowl game for the Rainbow City native.

Ryans is fifth all-time at Alabama with 300 tackles and led the Tide with 69 stops this season.

He is one of the most decorated players in Alabama football history en route to winning the 2006 Ronnie Lott Trophy and and being named a finalist of the Butkus, Nagurski and Draddy awards. Ryans was also a consensus first-team All-American selection, named to the squad of the Associated Press, Walter Camp Foundation, Football Writer's Association of America, and American Football Coaches Association.

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