Alabama football has three more players named to preseason watch lists
Another round of watch lists were released over the course of the past few days and three Alabama athletes made a list.
On Tuesday, the watch list for the 2012 John Mackey Award was released. The John Mackey Award, or Mackey Award for short, is given to college football’s best tight end every year. The Tide player that made the list this season is senior Michael Williams.
Williams will return to his role as tight end in the Alabama offense in 2012. Williams was a vital component to Alabama’s success on the ground last season, . The 6-foot-6, 269-pounder caught 16 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns last year, and he could contribute in an even larger role now that Brad Smelley has moved on to the NFL.
Another Tide player that found his name on a preseason watch list is senior Barrett Jones. Jones was named to the 2012 Rimington Trophy Watch List, an award given to the nation’s best center each season.
Jones will spend his first full season at center for the Crimson Tide in 2012 as he looks to replace William Vlachos. Jones, who is returning for a fifth season, has played every position on the offensive line and began anchoring the center position during spring practice.
He developed nicely and pleased both offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland and head coach Nick Saban in the process. Last season’s Outland Trophy winner has the versatility to be able to compete at any position on the offensive line and should be one of the best centers in the conference — if not the nation — by the end of the year.
The final player to be named to a watch list is, well, a player that not many people probably would have expected to be named to any list during some points of the 2011 season. Senior kicker Jeremy Shelley was named to the watch list for the Lou Groza Award, an award given annually to the nation’s best kicker.
Shelley finished the Tide’s season off with a phenomenal performance in Alabama’s 21-0 BCS national championship win. Overall, Shelley was 21-of-27 in 2011 and finished second in the Alabama record books in all-time scoring for a kicker in a single season.
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