Three Tiders On All-SEC Frosh

Alabama, the number one team in the nation, was clearly the dominant team in the Southeastern Conference. Although Bama has a number of veteran players, the Crimson Tide also got help from newcomers, and their contributions were recognized this week.

Alabama freshmen Barrett Jones, Trent Richardson and Nico Johnson were named to the 2009 Freshman All-SEC Football Team. Jones and Johnson were starters for the Crimson Tide, currently 13-0 and headed for the national championship game. Richardson was the back-up to soph tailback Mark Ingram, one of the leading candidates for the Heisman Trophy.

Alabama captured its 22nd SEC championship with a 32-13 win over Florida last Saturday. That put Bama at number one in the nation and in the BCS Championship Game against number two Texas in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on January 7.

In the days following the romp over Florida, numerous awards have been announced. In the SEC, Alabama earned 12 All-SEC picks, plus the SEC Coach of the Year (Nick Saban), Defensive Player of the Year (Rolando McClain), and Special Teams Player of the Year (Javier Arenas) in a vote by the league's 12 head coaches.  

More honorees will be unveiled this week, with Ingram in New York as one of five semifinalists for the Heisman Trophy.

Jones had previously been named a Freshman All-America. He started all 13 games for the Tide at right guard and helped the Crimson Tide offense churn out 215.8 rushing yards and 413.8 total yards per game this season.  He also cleared the path for Ingram's school record 1,542 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns this season.  The Memphis, Tenn., native was twice named Alabama offensive player of the week this season by the Tide coaching staff..  

Jones and South Carolina wide receiver Alshon Jeffery were the only unanimous offensive or defensive selections to this year's freshman All-SEC team.

  Richardson played in all 13 games and made one start at running back this season for the Crimson Tide. The Pensacola, Fla., native was the Crimson Tide's second-leading rusher with 642 yards and six touchdowns.  He averaged 5.1 yards per carry this season.  He also caught 14 passes for 107 yards.

  He was twice named SEC Freshman of the Week following wins over Florida International and Arkansas.  In the win over the Golden Panthers, Richardson had 15 rushing attempts for 118 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught two passes for 23 yards.  In his SEC debut against Arkansas, Richardson had nine carries for 65 yards, including a highlight-reel 52-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. He also added two catches for 16 yards.  

Johnson played in 11 games and made two starts and had an increased role in the Tide's defense after the season-ending injury to preseason All-SEC linebacker Dont'a Hightower. Johnson recorded 27 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss (-18 yards) and one sack (-15 yards). He also added two pass breakups and forced one fumble..

  He turned in his best game of the season with a career-high eight tackles and one sack (-15 yards) in the Tide's 12-10 win over Tennessee on Oct. 24 at Bryant-Denny Stadium.  He also added four tackles in wins over Florida International and Chattanooga.  Johnson recorded two stops and one tackle for loss (-1 yard) in Alabama's SEC Championship game win over Florida.

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