Three Tiders Make Playboy All-America

Timing is everything. John Hannah could have been a Playboy All-America prior to the 1972 season, but when Hannah said he couldn't make it to the Chicago Playboy mansion for the festivities and team photograph, the magazine selected a substitute All-America. The slight didn't seem to bother Hannah, one of the all-time greats of football.

After a number of years of having the All-America festivities in Chicago, Playboy began moving its fete around. For the past few years it has been in the West, including last year when Bama selection Andre Smith went to Arizona for the award ceremonies.

Alabama had three players--Javier Arenas, Julio Jones and Rolando McClain--selected to the 2009 Playboy Magazine annual preseason College Football All-America Team. And unlike Hannah, they didn't have to decline the honor.

That's because Playboy isn't having a get-together for the selections for the 2009 team.

The Playboy team will be included in the September issue of the magazine. Alabama has had four Playboy preseason All-America players over the past two seasons after offensive tackle Andre Smith was selected prior to the start of last year. It is the 53rd consecutive season Playboy has honored a preseason All-America team.

Arenas, a senior from Tampa, Fla., was selected as a return specialist after leading the nation with three punt returns for touchdowns in 2008. He was sixth nationally in average yards per punt return at 15.85 and is the NCAA active career in leader in both punt returns for touchdowns (six) and punt return yards per game. His six career punt returns for touchdowns is also an SEC record.

"I appreciate the honor," Arenas said following Thursday's first practice. "It's an honor to be ranked that high with the country's finest."

McClain, a third-team Associated Press All-America after his sophomore season in 2008, was also selected to the team after pacing the Tide with 95 tackles and 12 tackles for loss a year ago. The 2008 Butkus Award finalist is among the most feared linebackers in college football. The junior from Decatur has 169 career tackles, 17 TFL, four quarterback sacks and three interceptions for his position at middle linebacker in just two years.

Jones, a sophomore from Foley, burst onto the college football scene with a tremendous freshman season where he caught 58 passes for 924 yards and four touchdowns – all Alabama freshman records. He was the Columbus (Ohio) Touchdown Club National Freshman of the Year and a second-team All-SEC selection. Jones posted three 100-yard receiving games with his career high of 128 yards coming at LSU that included a 24-yard reception on the first play of overtime to set up the Crimson Tide's winning touchdown.

BamaMag Top Stories