McClain Selected Player Of Decade

Earlier this year, 'BAMA Magazine continued a long tradition of having its readers select the Alabama Team of the Decade. The team was previously announced, but this summer we are revisiting and taking a deeper look at those selected. This concludes our look back at the members of the honor squad on defense.

Readers of 'BAMA Magazine had the opportunity to select four linebackers when they chose the Alabama football Team of the Decade for the first ten years of the New Millennium (2000-2009). One of those selected was Rolando McClain of Decatur, who played for the Crimson Tide 2007-09. Indeed, McClain received more votes than any other player, making him the "Player of the Decade."

McClain won Alabama's second Butkus Award, took home the Lambert Award, and was a unanimous first-team All-America and the SEC Defensive Player of the Year as as a senior.

In his three years at The Capstone, McClain made a total of 37 starts. He led the team in tackles in 2009 with 105 total stops, including 14.5 for loss. He had four sacks, a forced fumble which led to a touchdown, two interceptions, and 14 quarterback hurries.

His teammates voted him a permanent captain following the 2009 regular season. He was a three-year All-SEC performer at middle linebacker and was a Freshman All-America. He had 75 tackles as a freshman and 95 as a sophomore.

Opting to by-pass his senior season, McClain went into the NFL draft and was selected in the first round – the eighth pick overall—by the Oakland Raiders.

Reviewing the selections of 'BAMA readers for defensive players on the Team of the Decade:

In addition to Rolando McClain, the linebackers are DeMeco Ryans, Saleem Rasheed, and Freddie Roach.

The defensive linemen are Terrence Cody, Jarret Johnson, and Antwan Odum.

The defensive backs are Roman Harper, Charlie Peprah, Rashad Johnson, and Javier Arenas.

Editor's Note: This is one in a series on members of the Alabama Team of the Decade.

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