The Butkus Foundation has selected Alabama junior linebacker Rolando McClain selected as one of 16…
Tide Duo Lombardi Award Semifinalists
"It was great to see that we had two players, Rolando McClain and Terrence Cody, named semifinalists for the Lombardi Award," Alabama Coach Nick Saban said following Wednesday's practice. "I think both of those guys have worked hard and have done a great job for our team. I think it's interesting that teams that have success seem to have more guys that have more opportunities for positive self-gratification through these kinds of awards. We're always happy to see players, coaches and people in our organization that get recognized for all the good work that they do for our team and our University and representing it in a first-class way."
Alabama is one of only two schools with two semifinalists for the coveted Lombardi Award, which is given annually to the nation's top college football lineman (offense or defense) who, in addition to outstanding performance and ability, best exemplifies the discipline of Vince Lombardi. Six of the 12 semifinalists are from SEC schools. The four finalists will be announced Nov. 10.
McClain is the leader of an Alabama defense that ranks second nationally in total defense (218 yards per game) and seventh in rushing defense (63.2 yards per game) and eighth in scoring defense (12.5 points) this season. McClain leads Alabama with 42 tackles this season and has added 5.5 tackles for loss (-26 yards), five quarterback pressures, two sacks (-19 yards), two interceptions and one forced fumble. He is sixth in the SEC with 5.5 TFLs and 13th with 7.0 tackles per game this season.
He was the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week after his 12-tackle performance in the Tide's win at Kentucky on Oct. 3. McClain was single-handedly involved in three of the Tide's four takeaways in the win and finished the game with one interception, one forced fumble, one pass breakup and one quarterback pressure.
"It is a tremendous honor to be named a semifinalist for the Lombardi Award," McClain said. "I have to give credit to my coaches, my defensive line and the rest of my defensive teammates. The coaches put me in position to be successful and our defensive line does such a great job up front. It was also good to see Terrence Cody selected as a semifinalist as well because he is one of those players up front that makes our job easier as linebackers."
Cody has been a fixture on the Tide's defensive front that leads the SEC in rushing defense (63.2 yards per game) and ranks second in total defense (218 yards per game) and second in scoring defense (12.5 points per game). In six games, Cody has 12 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss (-8 yards), two quarterback pressures and one pass breakup.
"I'm just a part of this defense, but I appreciate being named a semifinalist for the Lombardi," Cody said. "I think something like this is really an award that recognizes the defensive team as a group, not really one guy. The big thing with our defense is everyone doing their job and our priority is being the best defense we can be."