SEC: Mike Johnson

An inside look at Alabama's White House trip

March, 10, 2010
PM ET's Ivan Maisel spent the day in Washington, D.C., with Alabama's football team on Monday and has an inside look at the Crimson Tide's visit with President Barack Obama and their tour of all the sights.

Maisel also caught up with quarterback Greg McElroy and former cornerback Javier Arenas to get their thoughts on the whole experience.

Alabama fans will love this anecdote from Maisel's piece: As Karen McElwain, the wife of offensive coordinator Jim McElwain, walked out of the White House, she turned to the policeman sitting behind the desk and said, "See you next year?"

Sounds like Mrs. McElwain is predicting a repeat. Wonder what her husband's boss thinks about that?

Overrated and underrated pro prospects

February, 16, 2010
Matt Hayes of The Sporting News plays the underrated and overrated game with a few departing college players as they take their shot at pro football.

A couple of SEC players are on his list.

[+] EnlargeJonathan Crompton
Sam Greenwood/Getty ImagesJonathan Crompton threw for 2,800 yards his senior season, but he had 13 interceptions too.
With the NFL combine scheduled for Feb. 24, we're certain to get a few more "underrated/overrated" reports.

But Hayes has Tennessee quarterback Jonathan Crompton as his overrated quarterback and cites Crompton's accuracy problems and all the interceptions he threw during his career (22) as the big reason.

Crompton had no chance to be drafted before his senior season, but blossomed under Lane Kiffin and passed for 2,800 yards and 27 touchdowns in 2009. For what it's worth, Kiffin was adamant even before Crompton's senior season that he could go as high as the third or fourth round in the draft.

Two other SEC players who were bracketed into the underrated category by Hayes were Tennessee running back Montario Hardesty and Alabama offensive guard Mike Johnson.

Hardesty's a punishing runner with great moves. If he can stay healthy like he did during his senior season, he has a chance to be a very effective NFL runner. Johnson is one of those guys who'll play 12 years in the league. He's smart, tough, physical and plenty athletic for a guard.

Another guy I'd put on the underrated list from the SEC is Vanderbilt cornerback Myron Lewis.

I don't know when he' ll be drafted or what kind of time he'll run at the combine, but he's a big, physical corner who can cover and has great ball skills. His coaches at Vanderbilt felt like he was a better overall pro prospect than D.J. Moore, who went in the fourth round last year to the Chicago Bears.

The SEC's 30 best players: Nos. 20-16

February, 8, 2010
This is when it really gets tough, because there’s not a lot of difference in the 10th best player in this league and the 20th best player.

Of the first 10 players to make the cut, five will be back next season.

Let’s see how many of these next 20 will be back.

Here we go with selections No. 20-16:

No. 20: Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida: Versatile enough to play just about anywhere up front, Pouncey remained at center and was the anchor of the Gators’ offensive line this past season. Go back and count how many times he cleared the way for one of Tim Tebow’s key conversions on third or fourth down. Pouncey won’t be easily replaced -- on the field or off the field. He started in 39 games in three seasons and was one of the strongest leaders on the team. He’s giving up his senior season to turn pro.

Jim Brown-US PRESSWIRETennessee running back Montario Hardesty broke through this season with 1,345 yards and 14 touchdowns.

No. 19: Mike Johnson, OG, Alabama: As a junior, Johnson was overshadowed somewhat by first-team All-Americans Andre Smith and Antoine Caldwell. But this past season, with the Crimson Tide losing three starters up front, Johnson stepped up front and center as one of the most complete offensive linemen in the league. He was a consensus first-team All-American from his left guard position and anchored an offensive line that was rock-solid all season. All the while, Alabama went 14-0, won its first national title in 17 years and put up even better offensive numbers than it did a year ago.

No. 18: Montario Hardesty, RB, Tennessee: One of the comeback players of year nationally, Hardesty saved his best for his senior season. He’d been inundated with injuries through much of his career and really didn’t get much of a chance as a junior. But this past season, he plowed his way to 1,345 rushing yards and scored 14 touchdowns. Hardesty carried the ball an SEC-high 282 times and didn’t fumble a single time on a rushing attempt. Prior to this past season, Hardesty had never rushed for more than 387 yards in a season.

No. 17: Ben Tate, RB, Auburn: Tate was one of those guys who didn’t quite make the cut on the preseason list. He was hurt by how dysfunctional Auburn was on offense in 2008. That wasn’t a problem this past season. The Tigers fed him the ball, and he delivered. The 5-11, 218-pound senior rushed for a career-high 1,362 yards and 10 touchdowns. He averaged 5.2 yards per carry and proved to be one of the toughest backs in the league to bring down. Despite carrying the ball 263 times, Tate lost just 44 yards all season. He also showed that he wasn’t just a power back and had three touchdown runs of 35 yards or longer.

No. 16: Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee: Williams had been a solid player for the Vols prior to this past season, but he certainly hadn’t risen to the level where he could be considered one of the top 30 players in the league. That all changed during his senior season. He was consistently the best interior defensive lineman in the league in 2009 and likely played his way into the first round of April’s NFL draft. Williams led all SEC defensive tackles with 70 total tackles and led the Vols with nine tackles for loss and nine quarterback hurries. He stuffs the run with the best of them, but is also an effective interior pass-rusher.
  • No. 21: Rennie Curran, LB, Georgia
  • No. 22: Randall Cobb, QB/WR, Kentucky
  • No. 23: Shay Hodge, WR, Ole Miss
  • No. 24: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
  • No. 25: Pernell McPhee, DE, Mississippi State
  • No. 26: Malcolm Sheppard, DT, Arkansas
  • No. 27: Mark Barron, S, Alabama
  • No. 28: Terrence Cody, NG, Alabama
  • No. 29: Brandon LaFell, WR, LSU
  • No. 30: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

Senior Bowl to include 25 from the SEC

January, 18, 2010
The SEC will have 25 players on the South roster in the Under Armour Senior Bowl this year. That's more than any other conference in the country.

Of the 25 SEC representatives in this year’s game, 10 landed on All-American lists this season and 21 were named to All-SEC squads. It’s a group that includes the conference’s Offensive Player of the Year (Tim Tebow), Scholar-Athlete of the Year (Tebow), Special Teams Player of the Year (Javier Arenas) and Jacobs Blocking Trophy winner (Ciron Black).

This year's game will also feature four of the SEC’s five 1,000-yard rushers (Anthony Dixon, Ben Tate, Montario Hardesty and Dexter McCluster), its only 1,000-yard receiver (Shay Hodge), the league leader in scoring (Leigh Tiffin), the league leader in passing efficiency and points responsible for (Tebow) and the league leader in sacks (Antonio Coleman).

The game will be played Jan. 30 at 4 p.m. ET in Mobile's Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

Here's a team-by-team list of the SEC players in the game:


CB Javier Arenas

NG Terrence Cody

OG Mike Johnson

TE Colin Peek

K Leigh Tiffin


OG Mitch Petrus


DE Antonio Coleman

RB Ben Tate


WR Riley Cooper

QB Tim Tebow


DT Geno Atkins

DT Jeff Owens


CB Trevard Lindley


OT Ciron Black

LB Harry Coleman

WR Brandon LaFell

RB Charles Scott


LB Jamar Chaney

RB Anthony Dixon


WR Shay Hodge

OL John Jerry

RB Dexter McCluster


LB Eric Norwood


RB Montario Hardesty

DT Dan Williams's All-America team

January, 15, 2010
Nine SEC players, including three from BCS national champion Alabama, have been named to the All-America team.

Running back Mark Ingram, offensive guard Mike Johnson and linebacker Rolando McClain led the way for the Crimson Tide.

On offense, Florida center Maurkice Pouncey and Florida tight end Aaron Hernandez were also selected.

Defensively, Florida cornerback Joe Haden, LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson and Tennessee safety Eric Berry were the SEC players named, while Georgia punter Drew Butler made it on special teams.


SEC players invited to the NFL combine

January, 12, 2010
Here’s a look at the SEC seniors invited to participate in the NFL scouting combine Feb. 24-March 2 in Indianapolis. There will also be some underclassmen invited once the deadline passes for early entry into the draft.

LSU had the most players invited in the SEC with 11. Alabama was second with eight:


CB Javier Arenas

NG Terrence Cody

DE Brandon Deaderick

OL Mike Johnson

TE Colin Peek

K Leigh Tiffin

DE Lorenzo Washington

S Justin Woodall


OL Mitch Petrus

DT Malcolm Sheppard


RB Ben Tate


WR Riley Cooper

DE Jermaine Cunningham

RB/RS Brandon James

LB Brandon Spikes

QB Tim Tebow


DT Geno Atkins


FB John Conner

LB Micah Johnson

CB Trevard Lindley

LB Sam Maxwell

DT Corey Peters


DE Rahim Alem

DT Charles Alexander

OT Ciron Black

LB Harry Coleman

CB Chris Hawkins

RS Trindon Holliday

WR Brandon LaFell

LB Perry Riley

RB Charles Scott

RB Keiland Williams

DT Al Woods


RB Anthony Dixon


CB Marshay Green

DE Greg Hardy

WR Shay Hodge

OL John Jerry

S Kendrick Lewis

RB Dexter McCluster


LB Eric Norwood

S Darian Stewart


RB Montario Hardesty

OT Chris Scott

DT Dan Williams


CB Myron Lewis

OT Thomas Welch

SEC all-bowl team

January, 12, 2010
Having had a few days now to digest the 2009 bowl season, here’s a look at the All-SEC bowl team:


[+] EnlargeTim Tebow
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images Tim Tebow torched Cincinnati for a career-high 482 passing yards and three TDs.
QB Tim Tebow, Florida
Broke Vince Young’s record for total offense in a BCS bowl game with 533 yards in the Gators’ 51-24 rout of Cincinnati in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. Completed 31 of 35 passes for a career-high 482 yards.

RB Dexter McCluster, Ole Miss
Was there a better player in the SEC the second half of the season? McCluster rushed for 184 yards and two touchdowns in the AT&T Cotton Bowl win.

RB Mark Ingram, Alabama
Despite cramping up in the Citi BCS National Championship Game, the Heisman Trophy winner showed his grit and led the Crimson Tide with 116 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

WR Riley Cooper, Florida
Led the Gators’ offensive explosion in the Sugar Bowl with 181 receiving yards, including an 80-yard touchdown. Cooper averaged 25.9 yards on seven catches.

WR Brandon LaFell, LSU
The Tigers didn’t put up much offense, but LaFell had five catches for 87 yards, including a 24-yard touchdown. LaFell led all SEC players with 19 touchdown catches over the past two seasons.

TE Aaron Hernandez, Florida
His nine catches led all players in the Sugar Bowl, and he finished with 111 receiving yards. Hernandez opened the Gators’ scoring with a 7-yard touchdown catch.

OL John Jerry, Ole Miss
Helped clear the way for Ole Miss’ 193 rushing yards against an Oklahoma State defense that finished ranked 11th nationally against the run.

OL James Carpenter, Alabama
Combined with Mike Johnson to make the key block that helped spring Trent Richardson on his 49-yard touchdown run in the second quarter of the Citi BCS National Championship Game.

OL Justin Anderson, Georgia
The Bulldogs were playing without starting right tackle Josh Davis, and Anderson came off the bench in the second half to help give a much-needed lift to the running game.

OL Mike Johnson, Alabama
The anchor of an Alabama offensive line that paved the way for both Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson to each rush for more than 100 yards against Texas’ vaunted defense.

C Maurkice Pouncey, Florida
Spent more than five hours at Tulane Hospital with kidney stones and had several IV’s, but didn’t miss the start and led the way for the Gators up front.


DE Marcell Dareus, Alabama
Had the hit that knocked Texas quarterback Colt McCoy out of the game and also returned an interception 28 yards for a touchdown right before halftime.

DE Carlos Dunlap, Florida
Came back strong from his suspension in the SEC championship game with two sacks in the Gators’ Sugar Bowl romp.

DT Geno Atkins, Georgia
Pressured Texas A&M quarterback Jerrod Johnson relentlessly. Atkins finished with a sack and also blocked a field goal attempt in the second quarter.

DT Dan Williams, Tennessee
A rock all season long in the middle for the Vols, Williams ended his career with nine tackles, including a half a sack in the 37-14 loss to Virgina Tech in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

LB Patrick Trahan, Ole Miss
His 34-yard fumble return for a touchdown sealed the game for the Rebels with 3:12 remaining. Trahan also had an interception on Oklahoma State’s next possession.

LB Jerry Franklin, Arkansas
Finished with 10 tackles and had a third-quarter interception that turned the game around for the Hogs. East Carolina was leading 10-0, but Franklin intercepted a pass and returned it 31 yards to set up an Arkansas field goal.

LB Eric Norwood, South Carolina
Wrapped up a record-setting career at South Carolina by leading the Gamecocks with 10 tackles in their 20-7 loss to Connecticut in the Bowl.

DB Walter McFadden, Auburn
Intercepted two passes in Auburn’s Outback Bowl win. McFadden’s first pick set up a touchdown, and he did the honors himself on the second one – returning it 100 yards for a touchdown.

DB Tramain Thomas, Arkansas
His 37-yard interception return for a touchdown tied the game in the third quarter. Thomas also tipped away a pass at the goal line in the final minutes that might have saved the game.

DB Kendrick Lewis, Ole Miss
Intercepted two passes in Ole Miss’ 21-7 Cotton Bowl victory over Oklahoma State. His big hit in the fourth quarter also forced the fumble that Patrick Trahan returned 34 yards for a touchdown to break the game open.

DB Chad Jones, LSU
Did a little bit of everything in his final game at LSU. Led the Tigers with eight tackles, including one for loss, while also forcing a fumble, breaking up a pass and blocking a kick.


K Alex Tejada, Arkansas
His 37-yard field goal in overtime was the difference in Arkansas’ 20-17 victory over East Carolina in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.

P Spencer Lanning, South Carolina
In extremely cold conditions, Lanning punted seven times for a 42.3-yard average and had a long of 48 yards. He also doubles as the Gamecocks’ place-kicker.

KR Brandon Boykin, Georgia
Tied an SEC record with his third kickoff return for a touchdown this season, taking one back 81 yards to answer Texas A&M’s first touchdown.

The best may be yet to come for Alabama

January, 5, 2010
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. –- While it might surprise some that Nick Saban is on the doorstep of a national championship in only his third year at Alabama, senior offensive guard Mike Johnson looks around on the practice field every day and isn’t the least bit shocked.

Even now, Johnson is floored by all the talent Saban has brought in, and he has a message for anybody thinking the talent level is going to drop off next season.

Think again.

“The talent that we’ve brought in for the last two years is incredible,” Johnson said. “You look around, and it’s at all positions.”

Johnson says many of the guys who didn’t play huge roles this season, or maybe even redshirted, would be starting at a lot of other SEC schools.

“We’re losing three senior defensive linemen, and I really don’t think we’re dropping off too bad,” Johnson said. “We lose (Terrence) Cody, but go straight to Josh Chapman. We lose Lorenzo (Washington), but go to Marcell (Dareus). Then we’ve got guys who were injured like (Dont’a) Hightower and Damion Square who will be back. There’s just incredible depth on this team.”

And that’s not even counting some of the younger players fans haven’t had the chance to see in games yet that Johnson has seen every day in practice.

He thinks the Tide Nation will be pleased with what’s coming down the road.

“There are a lot of guys under the radar who really are going to blossom the next few years in this program,” Johnson said.

One of those guys is freshman quarterback A.J. McCarron, who’s been impressive enough in practice the second half of this season that he could be the one to go in Thursday if something were to happen to Greg McElroy.

Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain wouldn’t directly answer that question this week, but he made it clear how impressed he’s been with McCarron’s development.

And then there’s freshman running back Trent Richardson, who many in, and around, the program think has more pure ability and is more explosive than Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram. Richardson rushed for 642 yards as Ingram’s backup this season.

“Every year, coach Saban and the staff are bringing in better players,” senior linebacker Cory Reamer said. “I look forward to seeing where it all ends.”

Don't look for Alabama to beat itself

January, 5, 2010
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp says Alabama is probably the most balanced offense the Longhorns have faced this season.

It’s also an offense that doesn’t beat itself.

"They don't put themselves in negative situations, and that's the thing that jumps off the film to me," Muschamp said.

Consider this: In the SEC championship game win over Florida last month, Alabama didn’t have a turnover, committed just one penalty and allowed just one sack.

The Crimson Tide have turned the ball over only 10 times in 13 games this season, which is the fewest among FBS teams.

Four of Alabama’s 10 turnovers came in one game, the 20-6 win over South Carolina.

Alabama enters Thursday’s game having gone 18 straight quarters without a turnover.

Moreover, the Crimson Tide have surrendered just 10 points off turnovers this season, which ranks second nationally behind LSU’s 7.

“It’s something we take a lot of pride in,” Alabama senior offensive guard Mike Johnson said. “That’s not something that just happens. We hold each other accountable for doing things right, and coach Saban holds us all accountable. If you make the same mistakes, you’re not going to be playing for him.”

Alabama is fifth nationally in turnover margin at plus-16. Quarterback Greg McElroy has thrown just four interceptions in 314 attempts and has been masterful at taking care of the ball.

He hasn’t taken chances, and really, hasn’t had to take chances given the diversity of this Alabama offense.

“I’m not one of those guys that just wants to jump out of a tree without something down there,” Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain said. “(McElroy) is a very intelligent player. He understands what we’re trying to accomplish. To his credit, he’s done a great job so far.”

Staying the course

January, 4, 2010
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- You've got to hand it to Alabama's seniors, especially the ones who persevered and stayed the course.

There was nothing fun about the 2006 and 2007 seasons, but guys like Javier Arenas, Mike Johnson, Cory Reamer, Eryk Anders, Lorenzo Washington, Brandon Deaderick and several others bought into what Nick Saban was selling when he arrived.

And here the Crimson Tide are ... on the doorstep of a national championship.

Here's a link to a story I did on the Alabama seniors that's on the main college football page.

Crimson Tide not interested in 'Goliath' role

January, 3, 2010
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- Alabama coach Nick Saban has had several weeks now to diffuse what he’s termed the “David vs. Goliath” buildup to the Citi BCS National Championship Game.

Clearly, Saban has no desire for the Crimson Tide to play the role of Goliath, and neither do the players.

Alabama’s cause wasn’t helped much by Florida’s dominating performance in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. The Gators could have named their score against Cincinnati in a 51-24 rout. And that’s the same Florida team Alabama spanked 32-13 in the SEC championship game back on Dec. 5.

The real media crunch will start later Sunday when the Alabama and Texas players report for their first scheduled interviews at the Newport Beach Marriott and Spa. The Alabama players are almost defiant about not letting this become a situation where Texas is painted as a huge underdog.

“That’s what the media is about, just hyping a lot of things up,” Alabama senior cornerback Javier Arenas said. “They blow it up. That’s what’s going to happen, no question. That’s what they do. Then when you take down Florida, that’s when they say you’re going to blow out Texas, which is insane because it’s two great football teams going at it.

“It’s going to be a very competitive football game.”

Wonder if Arenas and his teammates have been listening to Saban, who was tersely deflecting any talk of Alabama being an obvious favorite the night the Alabama vs. Texas matchup was officially announced?

But with Texas looking so beatable in its Big 12 championship win over Nebraska and Alabama looking so impressive in its win over Florida, it was a given that the Crimson Tide were going to be seen nationally as the better team.

Of course, a week earlier, Alabama was lucky to escape at Auburn after falling behind by 14 points and pulling out a 26-21 win thanks to a fourth-quarter drive.

Alabama senior offensive guard Mike Johnson knows what the Longhorns were thinking if they watched that game.

“That this team can be beat,” Johnson said.

In other words, all that matters is who's the better team come Thursday at the Rose Bowl.

Senior Bowl loaded with SEC players

December, 24, 2009
The 2010 Senior Bowl will have a definite SEC flavor.

Already, 10 SEC players have been announced as participants. The latest two were Tennessee teammates Montario Hardesty and Dan Williams.

Five Alabama players were selected -- offensive guard Mike Johnson, tight end Colin Peek, nose guard Terrence Cody, cornerback Javier Arenas and kicker Leigh Tiffin. Also selected were Auburn teammates Antonio Coleman and Ben Tate as well as Mississippi State running back Anthony Dixon.

It hasn't been announced yet, but look for Ole Miss running back Dexter McCluster to also get an invite.

Consensus All-America honors for 10 SEC players

December, 17, 2009
The SEC led the way this season with 10 players who were named consensus All-Americans. The Big 12 was second with seven players.

Tennessee safety Eric Berry, Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes and Alabama nose guard Terrence Cody were repeat consensus selections.

Joining them this season from the SEC were Alabama running back Mark Ingram, Alabama offensive guard Mike Johnson, Florida center Maurkice Pouncey, Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain, Alabama cornerback Javier Arenas, Florida cornerback Joe Haden and Georgia punter Drew Butler.

Here's the entire team:

  • WR—Jordan Shipley, Texas, 6-0, 190, Senior
  • WR—*Golden Tate, Notre Dame, 5-11, 195, Junior
  • TE—Dennis Pitta, BYU, 6-5, 247, Senior
  • OL—Mike Iupati, Idaho, 6-6, 330, Senior
  • OL—Mike Johnson, Alabama, 6-6, 305, Senior
  • OL—*Russell Okung, Oklahoma St., 6-5, 300, Senior
  • OL—Trent Williams, Oklahoma, 6-5, 318, Senior
  • C—Maurkice Pouncey, Florida, 6-5, 318, Junior
  • QB—*Colt McCoy, Texas, 6-2, 210, Senior
  • RB—*Toby Gerhart, Stanford, 6-1, 235, Senior
  • RB—*Mark Ingram, Alabama, 5-10, 215, Sophomore
  • PK—Kai Forbath, UCLA, 6-0, 192, Junior
  • Returner/All-Purpose — *C.J. Spiller, Clemson, 5-11, 195


  • DL—Terrence Cody, Alabama, 6-5, 365, Senior
  • DL—*Jerry Hughes, TCU, 6-3, 257, Senior
  • DL—Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma, 6-4, 297, Junior
  • DL—*Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska, 6-4, 300, Senior
  • LB—Greg Jones, Michigan St., 6-1, 228, Junior
  • LB—*Rolando McClain, Alabama, 6-4, 258, Junior
  • LB—Brandon Spikes, Florida, 6-3, 258, Senior
  • DB—Javier Arenas, Alabama, 5-9, 198, Senior
  • DB—*Eric Berry, Tennessee, 5-11, 203, Junior
  • DB—*Joe Haden, Florida, 5-11, 190, Junior
  • DB—Earl Thomas, Texas, 5-10, 197, Sophomore
  • P—*Drew Butler, Georgia, 6-2, 203, Sophomore

* Indicates unanimous first team selection; Bold indicates consensus repeater from 2008.

AP All-America team is coated in crimson

December, 15, 2009
Alabama placed six players on the Associated Press All-America team, more than any other school.

Making the first team were running back Mark Ingram, offensive guard Mike Johnson, nose guard Terrence Cody, linebacker Rolando McClain, cornerback Javier Arenas and kicker Leigh Tiffin.

Also, safety Mark Barron was named to the AP's third team.

All told, the SEC had 11 players earning first-team honors by the AP. The others were South Carolina linebacker Eric Norwood, Florida cornerback Joe Haden, Florida tight end Aaron Hernandez, Tennessee safety Eric Berry and Georgia punter Drew Butler.

More All-America honors for SEC players

December, 15, 2009
The Sporting News has named nine SEC players first-team All-Americans.

On offense, Alabama running back Mark Ingram, Florida tight end Aaron Hernandez, Alabama offensive guard Mike Johnson and Florida center Maurkice Pouncey made the cut.

On defense, it was Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain, Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes, Florida cornerback Joe Haden and Tennessee safety Eric Berry.

Georgia's Drew Butler was the first-team punter.

Second-team honors went to Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, Alabama nose guard Terrence Cody, Alabama cornerback Javier Arenas and LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson.

Third-team honors went to Ole Miss offensive lineman John Jerry, South Carolina linebacker Eric Norwood and Alabama kicker Leigh Tiffin.