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November 4, 2009
Notebook: Three players, Saban named awards semifinalists
TUSCALOOSA _ The University of Alabama football team had three players named to various semifinal lists for awards presented by the Maxwell Football Club, along with Nick Saban for coach of the year honors.
Sophomore running back Mark Ingram was named for for the Maxwell Award, which goes to the nation's best player, while both senior nose tackle Terrence Cody and junior linebacker Rolando McClain were listed for consideration of Chuck Bednarik Award for best defensive player.
"Most of the time when you have good team success there's a lot of positive accolades for everyone involved and we are certainly proud that we have some players being considered on the national level," Saban said.
The announcement of the winners of the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be made during the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show on Dec. 10. Three finalists for each award will be announced on Nov. 23.
The winner of the George Munger Award for coach of the year will be announced in a press released in December.
Best, Jahvid, University of California Berkley, RB, JR
Clausen, Jimmy, Notre Dame, QB, JR
Devine, Noel, West Virginia University, RB, JR
Gerhart, Toby, Stanford University, RB, SR
Ingram, Mark, University of Alabama, RB, SOPH
Keenum, Case, University of Houston, QB, JR
LeFevour, Dan, Central Michigan University, QB, SR
Lewis, Dion, University of Pittsburgh, RB, FR
Matthews, Ryan, Fresno State University, RB, JR
McCoy, Colt, University of Texas, QB, SR
Moore, Kellen, Boise State University, QB, SOPH
Ponder, Christian, Florida State University, QB, JR
Rodgers, Jacquizz, Oregon State University, RB, SOPH
Shipley, Jordan, University of Texas, WR, SR
Tate Golden, Notre Dame, WR, JR
Tebow, Tim, University of Florida, QB, SR
Chuck Bednarik Award
Angerer, Pat, University of Iowa, LB, SR
Berry, Eric, University of Tennessee, DB, JR
Bowman, Navorro, Penn State University, LB, JR
Cody, Terrence, University of Alabama, DL, SR
Curran, Rennie, University of Georgia, LB, JR
Hughes, Jerry, Texas Christian University, DL, SR
Jones, Greg, Michigan State University, LB, JR
Mays, Taylor, University of Southern California, DB, SR
McClain, Rolando, University of Alabama, LB, JR
McCoy, Gerald, University of Oklahoma, DL, SR
Miller, Von, Texas A&M, DL, JR
Norwood, Eric, University of South Carolina, LB, SR
Price, Brian, UCLA, DL, JR
Schofield, O'Brien, University of Wisconsin, DL, SR
Spikes, Brandon, University of Florida, LB, SR
Suh, Ndamukong, University of Nebraska, DL, SR
George Munger Award
Mack Brown, University of Texas
Kirk Ferentz, University of Iowa
Al Golden, Temple University
Paul Johnston, Georgia Tech
Brian Kelly, University of Cincinnati
Chip Kelly, University of Oregon
Urban Meyer, University of Florida
Joseph Paterno, Penn State University
Gary Patterson, Texas Christian University
Chris Petersen, Boise State University
Nick Saban, University of Alabama
Randy Shannon, University of Miami
Mike Stoops, University of Arizona
Kevin Sumlin, University of Houston
Dave Wannstedt, University of Pittsburgh
Colin Peek (sprained knee) wore black during Wednesday's practice and while the rest of the team was going through individual drill the senior tight end walked around the field. He continued to wear a brace as well and Saban said Peek did practice some Tuesday. Freshman Michael Williams has been taking some of his practice reps.
Freshman cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick returned to his usual spot, but junior running back Terry Grant again rode an exercise bike. The coach called all three players still day-to-day.
When asked if sophomore Demetrius Goode was ready to step in for Grant, Saban said "absolutely," and added that senior running back Roy Upchurch is finally back to being 100 percent after sustaining a sprained ankle early in the season.
Sophomore linebacker Courtney Upshaw appeared to be getting more reps as a pass-rusher.
Junior cornerback Kareem Jackson veered a bit away from what his teammates have been saying about Saturday's game. "It's another game on the schedule, it's important because it's the next game. But it's LSU, the coach came from there, so going in there's always that extra, whatever you want to say, cherry on top, to kind of get us going. They're going to come out ready to play, so we're going to have to match their intensity."
Saban said the kickoff coverage has shown improvement, but special teams will obviously be tested by LSU's Trindon Holliday, who averages 14.6 yards per punt return. "Guys like that are always tremendous challenges," he said. "He has tremendous speed."
Upchurch on running into the umpire on a key third-down reception against Tennessee: "I can't talk about that. There would be a lot of beeps in there."
Senior linebacker Cory Reamer thought that junior quarterback Greg McElroy might have started getting some crack calls earlier this week, which has become an LSU tradition for opposing quarterbacks. "I think Greg had some blocked calls today," Reamer said Tuesday, adding, "I doubt they'll be calling me. If they call anybody, I'm sure there's a few other people they have on their list. They'll be after Greg, I'm sure."
Saban couldn't help but crack up and gush a little when asked about Sandra Bullock's character calling him handsome in the movie "The Blind Side." "That was in the book," he said. Saban plays himself on an LSU recruiting trip of former Ole Miss left tackle Michael Oher, and was allowed to change his lines to be more like what he would normally say. "I don't do many things like this, and I turned down doing this to start with," Saban said. "I don't want to say any names, but somebody who is a very influential person called me and asked me to do it for Michael Oher and for the Tuohy family and all that. So I ended up doing it." He later added, "It's a historic thing, but my heart's here so nobody has to worry about any of that stuff, especially this week."