Dick Butkus said the voting was close for the winner of the award that is named for him. Could it be…
McClain, Arenas, Saban Honored
Alabama junior Rolando McClain, who has recently one two awards (Butkus and Lambert) as the best linebacker in the nation, was named the 2009 Defensive Player of the Year, and Crimson Tide senior cornerback and kick returner Javier Arenas was selected the number one special teams player.
Nick Saban has been named SEC Coach of the Year and McClain defensive player of the year in all selections.
McClain has led one of the nation's top defensive units with 101 tackles, including 12.5 tackles for loss (-58 yards) and four sacks (-36 yards). He also added 14 quarterback pressures, three pass breakups, two interceptions (21 return yards) and forced one fumble. He anchors a defense that leads the nation in scoring defense (11.0 ppg) and pass efficiency defense (88.81 rating) while ranking second in rushing defense (77.9 ypg) and total defense (241.69 ypg). The Tide are also seventh nationally in pass defense (177.82 ypg).
Arenas was a first-team All-SEC selection at two positions. He was selected at cornerback after recording 66 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, five sacks, four pass breakups and three interceptions this season. He was also honored as a return specialist, where he accumulated more than 1,000 return yards and one touchdown this season. The Tampa, Fla., native is also the SEC's all-time leader with 1,733 career punt return yards, which leaves him 28 yards shy of Wes Welker's NCAA career punt return record.
Saban has guided the Crimson Tide to a number one national ranking and a berth in the BCS National Championship Game after compiling a 13-0 record this season and securing the school's 22nd SEC Championship. Alabama will face number two Texas on Thursday, January 7, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. In three years at Alabama, Saban has compiled a 32-8 (.800) overall record and has led the Tide to back-to-back SEC Western Division titles. The Crimson Tide has won 26 of its last 28 games, dating back to the 2007 season.
Florida quarterback Tim Tebow was selected the SEC offensive player of the year. The league's coaches also selected Tebow and Vanderbilt return specialist/running back Warren Norman as the league's scholar-athlete of the year and top freshman performer, respectively. It was the second straight year for Tebow to receive the academic honor.
LSU offensive lineman Ciron Black was selected as the recipient of the Jacobs Trophy, given to the league's top blocker.
All of this year's individual award winners were named first-team All-SEC in voting by the league's coaches that was announced on Tuesday, outside of Norman, who was second team. There were no unanimous selections to this year's individual award winners.
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