BCS Championship Preview: Alabama vs. Texas

If an NFL general manager could take his first 22 players off the rosters of the University of Alabama and the University of Texas, he’d have a competitive team very quickly.

As the Crimson Tide and Longhorns play Thursday night in the BCS championship game at the Rose Bowl they will field a remarkable collection of football talent. Many of the names you will see in this game will be names you’ll notice in the NFL in coming seasons. Here are the players at the top of the list of prospects.


#25 ILB Rolando McClain, 6-4, 250 pounds – a consensus first-team All-America selection the 2009 Butkus Award winner as college football’s best linebacker and the SEC Defensive Player of the Year winner, McClain is a junior and has not affirmed publicly that he’s entering the 2010 NFL Draft. Expect that to happen within days of the championship game. McClain has been bothered with a case of the flu this week and missed some practice time. But he should play against Texas. Nick Saban calls McClain the smartest player he’s ever coached and he spends hours each week watching game tape. He led the Crimson Tide defense with 101 tackles, including 12.5 tackles for loss, four sacks, two interceptions and he forced a fumble. Over his 40-game career with the Tide, he has 270 total tackles, 29.5 tackles for loss, five interceptions, one fumble return for a touchdown and eight sacks. He did not miss a game because of injury. EVALUATION – top half of the first round.

#28 CB Javier Arenas, 5-8, 192 pounds – a consensus first-team All-America and All-SEC at two different positions, Arenas was named the SEC Special Teams Player of the Year. In 51 games, Arenas has 149 total tackles, including 17.5 tackles for loss and five sacks. He had four interceptions, including one touchdown return. He returned 122 punts, averaging 14.2 yards per return with seven touchdowns. He’s 29 yards away from breaking the NCAA career record for punt return yardage that is currently held at 1,761 yards by Texas Tech’s Wes Welker. Arenas returned 90 kickoffs for an average of 24.1 yards a return. He missed two games in four seasons. EVALUATION – bottom half of the first round.

#62 DT Terrence Cody, 6-4, 373 pounds – a consensus first-team All-America and All-SEC were honors for Cody in ‘09. A junior college transfer, in two seasons with Alabama, Cody played in 25 games and contributed 49 total tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss and .5 sacks. He forced one fumble and blocked two kicks. EVALUATION – first round selection.

#78 G Mike Johnson, 6-5, 302 pounds – consensus All-America and All-SEC performer who played in 53 games and never missed a contest because of injury. Versatile and can play any spot on the offensive line. He has started 37 consecutive games, and opened at both left and right tackle and at both left and right guard. EVALUATION – second-round prospect.

#95 DT Brandon Deaderick, 6-4, 296 pounds – One tough guy, he was shot in a failed robbery attempt, with a bullet that passed through his forearm and then lodged in his hip. But five days later, he was on the field playing against Virginia Tech. He’s played in 40 games with the Tide, finishing his career with 80 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and seven sacks. In three seasons of play, he did not miss a game. EVALUATION – a projected third rounder.

#84 TE Colin Peek, 6-5, 252 pounds – A transfer from Georgia Tech, Peek is more of a classic blocking tight end prospect. In 14 games, Peek caught 26 passes for 313 yards and three touchdown catches. #27 S Justin Woodall, 6-1, 218 pounds – At Alabama, Woodall played in 44 games, with 96 total tackles and seven interceptions, including one that he returned for 74 yards for a touchdown. He also had a blocked kick. This year he played in 13 games with 45 tackles and three interceptions. #99 K Leigh Tiffin, 6-0, 198 pounds – First-team All-America kicker, Tiffin played in 45 games, where he scored 378 points. He made 82 of 109 FG attempts, a 75.2 percentage. #79 OT Drew Davis, 6-6, 306 pounds – Davis played 29 games in two seasons at the right tackle spot. .


#12 QB Colt McCoy, 6-3, 11 pounds – McCoy was a first-team All-America selection by the Associated Press and he’s won more games as a starting quarterback than anybody in college football history. In 52 games with the Longhorns, McCoy has thrown for 13,244 yards with 112 touchdowns and 45 interceptions. He completed 1,155 of 1,643 attempts, a completion percentage of 70.3 percent. McCoy also ran for 1,571 yards and 20 touchdowns. He played in every Texas game the last four seasons. EVALUATION – He should be a late first or early second-round choice.

#2 OLB Sergio Kindle, 6-4, 236 pounds – In 45 games, he has 143 total tackles, 30 tackles for loss and 14 sacks. He also forced three fumbles and blocked a kick. Kindle played every game over the last two seasons. This season, he had 58 total tackles, 17 tackles for loss, there sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. Some off field issues through his career has some NFL teams seeking more information. EVALUATION – Kindle is a first round talent.

#1 S Earl Thomas, 5-11, 198 pounds – A red-shirt sophomore who can choose to enter the NFL Draft, Thomas would not have much left to accomplish if the Longhorns win the national title. In two seasons with the Longhorns, he played in 26 games, but he has 10 interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns. Those came earlier this year against Colorado, when he took back a pick 92 yards and against Oklahoma State when he returned the interception 31 yards. Thomas added 129 total tackles. EVALUATION – If he comes out, Thomas is a first-round prospect.

#8 WR Jordan Shipley, 6-0, 190 pounds – Shipley spent six years at Austin, getting a hardship year of eligibly because of missing two full seasons because of injury. But he’s not missed any time for the last two seasons. In 54 games with Texas, Shipley caught 238 passes for 3,069 yards and 31 touchdown catches. He also had 16 running plays for 162 yards. He returned 30 punts for a 12.5-yard average and three touchdowns. He returned 19 kickoffs for a 24.6-yard average and a touchdown. EVALUATION – late first, early second rounder.

#38 OLB Rod Muckelroy, 6-2, 237 pounds – At Texas, Muckelroy played in 41 games, providing 250 tackles, with 20.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. He intercepted two passes and returned a recovered fumble 26 yards for a touchdown. He missed one game in the last three years. #74 OT Adam Ulatoski, 6-8, 296 pounds – He has started games on both the left and right side of the Longhorns offensive line, appearing in 49 games. Ulatoski already has his college degree and he’s working on some classes towards a Masters degree. #71 C Chris Hall, 6-4, 303 pounds – he’s played 45 games, with most of those at center. During his time with Texas, Hall has started all five offensive line spots. #33 DT Lamarr Houston, 6-1, 282 pounds – In his 49 games with the Longhorns, Houston took part in 126 total tackles, with 33.5 tackles for loss and 13 sacks. Houston took the passer down six times this season, including a pair of sacks against Kansas.

4 Responses to “BCS Championship Preview: Alabama vs. Texas”

  • January 7, 2010  - Mike says:

    What about the orange bowl prospects?

  • January 8, 2010  - shutton says:

    After watching last nights championship game, there should be little doubt Rolando McClain should be the Chiefs 1st selection. 100% leader, 100% tough. Chiefs obviously need more help on D then O, especially right up the middle. NT, ILB, S. Think bigger, faster Ray Lewis.

  • January 8, 2010  - ThunderChief says:

    Whereas a case could be made for the Chief’s first round pick being any number of different guys and positions, and having seen several ‘Bama games on the tube this past season, I agree with shutton in that McClain is:

    a) One of the best atheletes available regardless of position.

    b) A team leader by example and exhorting his team mates

    c) A position of definite NEED

    Taking him at #5 overall would be a bit high depending on the current rankings but when adding up his entire package of tangible and intangibles, he looks to be the closest thing to a sure thing.

  • January 8, 2010  - shutton says:

    I agree ThuderChief.

    Pioli showed last year he isn’t scared to “reach” for a player he believes will help the Chiefs. Many “experts” had Jackson going int the teens somewhere, but Pioli took him 3rd.

    Berry is another popular option, especially by a lot of fans, and he does fill a definite need for the Chiefs. While athletically he is a superior athlete, I am by far and away more impressed with what McClain brings to the table.

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