Three Alabama Players Being Watched

There are a number of college football awards presented in the post-season. Over the years, Alabama football players have won a lot of them, though never the big one. No Crimson Tide player has ever won the Heisman Trophy. There isn't a watch list for the Heisman, although most could name the leading candidates for this year's award. There are watch lists for many of the other awards.

A trio of Alabama players – Julio Jones, Terrence Cody and Mike Johnson – have been named to preseason watch lists for the 2009 college football season.

Jones, a sophomore wide receiver, was named to the 2009 Fred Bilentnikoff Watch List, which is presented annually to the nation's top receiver.

Cody, a senior defensive tackle, and Johnson, a senior offensive lineman, were both named to the 2009 Outland Trophy preseason watch list, the Football Writers Association of America.

The Bilentnikoff Watch List contains 36 of the nation's top-flight wide receivers. Jones is one of four receivers from the SEC on the list, including Georgia's A.J. Green, Mississippi's Shay Hodge and LSU's Brandon LaFell.

Jones started all 14 games for the Tide as a true freshman and set every rookie receiving record along the way. He finished the season with 58 receptions for 946 yards and four touchdowns last year as a true freshman. He was a first-team freshman All-America and the Columbus (Ohio) Touchdown Club National Freshman of the Year in 2008. He was also the 2008 Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year.

The Outland Trophy preseason watch list contains 40 of the nation's top offensive and defensive linemen. The SEC had 10 linemen on the preseason list, followed by the Big 12 conference with nine. No other league had more than four.

A preseason All-America and All-SEC candidate, Cody is the only player on the list who was on the FWAA's 2008 All-America Team. He registered 24 tackles on the season with 4.5 tackles for loss (-14), half of a sack, a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and two quarterback hurries. He was a semifinalist for the 2008 Chuck Bednarik Award and was named SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week following the Clemson game.

A preseason All-SEC candidate, Johnson is one of the Tide's most versatile linemen. He started 12 games at left guard and two games (Tulane and Utah) at left tackle in place of an injured Andre Smith. He earned first-team All-America honors from Pro Football Weekly and was a second-team All-SEC selection by the Associated Press, Sporting News, SEC coaches and Phil Steele. Johnson helped pave the way to 184.6 rushing yards per game and helped clear a path for six 100-yard individual rushing games (five by Glen Coffee and one by Mark Ingram) in 2008. He was twice named SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week (Clemson & Mississippi).

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