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September 28, 2010

Notebook: Lester lands national honor

TUSCALOOSA _ University of Alabama free safety Robert Lester was named the FWAA/Bronko Nagurski national defensive player of the week Tuesday.

The sophomore was already named the Southeastern Conference's defensive player of the week after tallying seven tackles and two interceptions, including one in the end zone, Saturday at Arkansas.

The other interception was returned to the Razorbacks' 12-yard line to set up the Crimson Tide's game-winning touchdown. Lester leads the SEC and is second in the nation with four interceptions.

By winning the weekly honor, Lester's name is automatically placed on the Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list for defensive player of the year, which already includes Alabama teammates Mark Barron, Marcell Dareus, and Dont'a Hightower. Last season Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh won the award.

Here are all the Alabama players on various watch lists:

Bednarik Award (defensive player): Mark Barron, Marcell Dareus and Dont'a Hightower named to watch list. Semifinalists named Nov. 8.
Fred Biletnikoff Award (wide receiver): Julio Jones named to watch list. Semifinalists named Nov. 15
Butkus Award (linebacker): Dont'a Hightower and Nico Johnson named to watch list. Semifinalists announced Oct. 21 (Rolando McClain reigning winner).
Walter Camp Award (Player of the year): Mark Ingram named to watch list. Semifinalists announced Nov. 16.
William Campbell Trophy (scholar-athlete, formerly known as the Draddy Trophy): Semifinalists announced Sept. 30.
Heisman Trophy: Finalists announced Dec. 6 (Mark Ingram reigning winner).
Ted Hendricks Award (defensive end): Marcell Dareus was named to the watch list. Midseason list to be announced in November.
Rotary Lombardi Award (lineman): James Carpenter, Marcell Dareus and Dont'a Hightower named to the watch list. Semifinalists named Oct. 27.
Lott Trophy (defensive impact player): Mark Barron on watch list. Quarterfinalists expected to be announced in October.
Manning Award (quarterback, includes bowls): Greg McElroy on watch list. Finalists named Nov. 29.
Maxwell Award (outstanding player): Mark Ingram, Julio Jones and Greg McElroy on watch list. Semifinalists named Nov. 8.
Bronko Nagurski Award (defensive player): Mark Barron, Marcell Dareus, Dont'a Hightower and Robert Lester on watch list. Finalists announced Nov. 18.
Davey O'Brien Award (quarterback): Greg McElroy on watch list. Semifinalists announced Oct. 25.
Outland Trophy (interior lineman): James Carpenter and Barrett Jones on watch list. Finalists announced Nov. 22.
Paul Hornung Award (most versatile): Trent Richardson on watch list. Finalists announced in early December.
Rimington Trophy (center): William Vlachos on watch list. Finalists announced Dec. 6.
Jim Thorpe Award (defensive back): Mark Barron on watch list. Semifinalists announced Nov. 1.
Unitas Golden Arm (senior quarterback): Greg McElroy on watch list. Semifinalists expected to be announced in November.
Doak Walker Award (running back): Mark Ingram named to watch list. Semifinalists announced Nov. 11.
Burlsworth Trophy (walk-on): Nominees announced Nov. 17.

No one from Alabama on watch list
John Mackey Award (tight end): Semifinalists announced Nov. 15.
Lou Groza Award (kicker): Semifinalists announced Oct. 29.
Ray Guy Award (punter): Semifinalists announced Nov. 12.

Ingram tops Heisman predictor

It only took two games for reigning winner Mark Ingram to top the standings of ESPN's Heisman Predictor, which if accurate would make the award his to lose.

The predictor is a formula developed by Ryan McCrystal which assigns points based on everything from rushing yards and touchdowns to defeating top 10-opponents. Ingram has 107.5 points, just ahead of Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor (103), Michigan's Denard Robinson (101) and Nebraska's Taylor Martinez (101).

However, on the website's poll of experts, called the "Heisman Watch," which is more of who would you vote for now balloting, he was fourth behind three quarterbacks, Robinson, Boise State's Kellen Moore and Pryor.

It should also be noted that last year was the first time the predictor failed to get the Heisman winner correct, and after missing two games due to knee surgery Ingram is still second in team rushing with 308 yards on 33 carries behind sophomore Trent Richardson's 356 yards on 47 carries.

Tide-bits

Alabama limited its viewing period for reporters to just individual drills Tuesday. Junior defensive end Marcell Dareus (ankle) was practicing, but didn't appear to be going through drills with teammates. Sophomore Damion Square continued to work in his spot. Sophomore guard Barrett Jones wore a protective brace on his left arm.

Alabama's game at Arkansas drew a 5.2 national rating and a 12 share, CBS's best numbers for a college football game in that time slot since Florida-Florida State in 2003.

Senior tight end Preston Dial on his lead block on the 19-yard wildcat run at Arkansas: "Yeah I was proud of that one. The only thing my dad said, though, was I should have knocked him down."


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