Six players elected permanent captains

Alabama has six senior co-captains this year, including all three senior starters on the defensive line. Coach Dennis Franchione announced the captains following Tuesday's practice.

The three defensive linemen selected by their teammates to be captains are tackles Kenny King and Jarret Johnson and end Kindal Moorehead. Also named were quarterback Tyler Watts, tailback Ahmaad Galloway, and punter Lane Bearden.

Watts and Johnson were also selected last year as juniors. This is the fourth time in Alabama football history the Tide has had a repeat captain. The last time that happened was in 1923.

Tyler Watts

"The selection of permanent team captain at The University of Alabama is very serious to me," Alabama head coach Dennis Franchione said. "To be elected captain by your teammates is the highest honor a football player can receive, and they know that. There were a lot of votes for a lot of different people and that is a tribute to this senior class."

Galloway and Bearden both suffered serious knee injuries during the season. Galloway's injury was career-ending. Bearden missed one game, then resumed punting despite having a torn anterior cruciate ligament that will require post-season surgery. They represented the Alabama seniors, who were captains for the Auburn game, at the pre-game coin toss.

The six captains are the most in school history, eclipsing the previous total of five permanent captains in 1998, 1999 and 2001.

Bearden, a former walk-on from Pelham, has been described by Franchione as one of the most courageous football players he has ever known. Bearden missed one game (Georgia) following the injury suffered against Arkansas and did not participate in kickoff coverage after being hurt. However, he continued to punt well, including averaging 46.5 yards against Mississippi State. Always a competitive player who has made numerous tackles, Bearden even turned in a tackle following a punt against Auburn. He is averaging a very respectable 41.5 yards per punt.

Lane Bearden

"This was a very unique year with a special group of seniors," Franchione added. "This is the most I have ever had and they were all very strong leaders on this football team. I am very proud of all of these guys."

Galloway, a native of Millington, Tennessee, was Alabama's leading rusher last year as a junior and was leading the Tide in rushing when he suffered his knee injury in the fourth game of the year against Southern Mississippi. Galloway averaged 4.4 yards per carry and his 64.2 yards per game was best by a Bama back this season. He scored four touchdowns his senior season.

The six permanent captains will take their place in Alabama football history this spring prior to the A-Day game (April, 2002). At that time their hands and footprints will be cemented alongside all the former Crimson Tide permanent captains since 1948 at the base of Denny Chimes, located across from the UA President's Mansion on the UA quadrangle.

Ahmaad Galloway

The Alabama Walk-of-Fame began with the 1948 Senior Class and every permanent team captain as been recognized with their hand and footprints in cement at the base of Denny Chimes for the last 54 years.

Moorehead, a native of Memphis, was a Freshman All-Southeastern Conference performer and made All-SEC in 1999 and 2001. He missed the 2000 season with a torn Achilles tendon. This year he has been in on 50 tackles, including five tackles behind the line of scrimmage and eight sacks. He has also broken up a pass, had 18 quarterback pressures, and caused a fumble.

Johnson, a native of Chiefland, Florida, has also been involved in 50 tackles this season. He has four tackles for loss and four sacks. He has forced three fumbles, broken up one pass, and had 18 quarterback pressures. He was All-SEC as a junior.

Jarret Johnson

Watts and Johnson were named permanent captains for the second consecutive year, becoming the only two players in Alabama history to have the hand and footprints at the base of Denny Chimes twice in their careers.

The third defensive lineman earning the captain honor also has been in on 50 tackles. King, a native of Daphne, has seven tackles for losses and three sacks. He has broken up one pass, had 15 quarterback pressures, caused two fumbles, and recovered one fumble. He is a two-time Academic All-SEC performer and was second team All-SEC as a junior.

Watts, a native of Pelham, had to overcome injury in each year of his career, including a foot injury that kept him out of two games this year. He is Alabama's leading passer, having completed 104 of 166 for 1,333 yards and six touchdowns with four interceptions. He has also rushed 112 times for 329 yards and three touchdowns. Watts, who graduated last spring, is a three-time Academic All-SEC selection and was Freshman All-SEC in 1999.

Kenny King

Johnson, Saleem Rasheed and Watts were the first juniors in the history of Alabama football to have their hand and footprints cemented at Denny Chimes last year. All of the permanent captains from 1948-2000 were seniors. There were no permanent captains named in 1944-46 as game captains were recognized for those three seasons.

In addition, Johnson and Watts are just the fifth and sixth players in Alabama history to be named permanent captain more than once, joining S.B. Slone (1894 and 1896), W..E. Drennen (1900 and 1901), W.S. Wyatt (1903 and 1904) and Al Clemens (1921 and 1923).

EDITOR'S NOTE: Barry Allen of UA Media Relations contributed a great deal to this report.

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