September 13, 2006

BOL's Travis Reier's Top 10 Tiders

The following is a list of Top 10 Tiders for Week 2. Each Wednesday during the season, BOL senior writer Travis Reier lists his top 10 Tide performers from the previous game. In effect, the list will serve as a week-to-week ranking of Alabama's most valuable players.

1. Keith Brown Last Week: 1
Brown racked up 99 receiving yards on a career-high eight catches in the win over Vanderbilt. Even with the return of DJ Hall to the rotation, Brown remains firmly entrenched as John Parker Wilson's top option.

2. Simeon Castille Last Week: NR
Castille picked off two passes, including one at the Alabama 21 with 12:50 remaining in the game. Once again the junior comes up big from the nickel back spot. He also recorded four tackles and a half tackle for loss.

3. Wallace Gilberry Last Week: 3
Gilberry posted four solo tackles (five total), two tackles for loss and a quarterback hurry last Saturday. The junior was able to pressure Vanderbilt quarterback Chris Nickson on the game's final play.

4. Antoine Caldwell Last Week: 2
On a day when the offensive line struggled at times, Caldwell was one of two standouts. More so than any other player on the offensive side of the ball, it's imparative that the Tide's starting center stay healthy.

5. John Parker Wilson Last Week: 4
Wilson threw an interception, but he also came up big for an offense desperately in need of a spark. Wilson provided a spark and then some in going 5-for-5 on the touchdown drive at the start of the second half. For the second week in a row, the sophomore lit up an opponent to start the third quarter.

6. Rashad Johnson Last Week: NR
Johnson excelled both on special teams and defense against VU. Made two big stops in kickoff coverage, the second of which resulted in a forced fumble. From his safety spot, Johnson recorded a tackle for a four-yard loss in the first quarter. All four of his tackles were of the solo variety. On Tuesday, UA assistant Dave Ungerer said Johnson was the best kickoff coverage player he's ever coached.

7. Leigh Tiffin Last Week: NR
Tiffin didn't blink when placed into a clutch situation for the first time in his UA career. His 47-yarder midway through the fourth quarter never was in doubt. Tiffin's 18 points this season are 12 more than the Tide's next leading scorer (three tied with six points).

8. Juwan Simpson Last Week: 5
Simpson led the Tide in tackles for the second week in a row. After talling seven more against Vanderbilt, he now has 16 stops on the season. He also recorded his first interception of his senior campaign.

9. Andre Smith Last Week: 7
Hard to believe that an offense is basing much of what is does off of a freshman left tackle, but that's exactly what's happening at Alabama with Andre Smith. Smith, who flashed phenomenal agility in tacking out a Vandy corner on a slip screen to Brown, played every snap in making his second start.

10. DJ Hall Last Week: NR
In his first appearance this season, Hall made his presence felt, catching four passes for 58 yards and one touchdown. His 31-yard touchdown reception tied the game at 10-10.

SIX ON THE FRINGE: DT Dominic Lee; P P.J. Fitzgerald; FB Le'Ron McClain; CB Lionel Mitchell; HB Kenneth Darby; S Jeffrey Dukes.

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