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November 27, 2007Despite ending the season with four straight losses, Alabama Crimson Tide fans know that the future is bright in Tuscaloosa and the experts at Rivals.com showed they agree by naming three Crimson Tide players to the Rivals.com 2007 Freshman All-American Team. The Tide's trio of star newcomers puts Alabama second only to Georgia for the most Freshman All-Americans of any team in the nation in 2007.
Earning First Team honors for the Tide is true freshman cornerback Kareem Jackson who stepped in to make an immediate contribution in the Tide secondary this season. Jackson finished the year with 61 tackles, including 45 solo stops, hauled in three interceptions, recorded 5 pass breakups, one forced fumble and a blocked kick in what can only be described as a truly phenomenal breakout season. One of just six true freshman to earn First Team honors on the Freshman All-American squad, Jackson was a relatively unknown recruit when Nick Saban and his new staff discovered him at Fork Union Military Academy last January but the Crimson Tide staff proved its ability to evaluate talent by pulling in Jackson, who could be on his way to becoming one of the top defensive backs in the SEC.
Earning Second Team honors at running back was redshirt freshman Terry Grant who rebounded from a season ending injury in 2006 to set the all-time Alabama record for rushing yards and rushing touchdowns for a freshman. Grant's 891-yard, 8-touchdown campaign established him as one of the top young backs in the nation and with 176 yards receiving Grant proved he may also be one of the most versatile players at his position as well. After leading the Tide in all-purpose yards this year, Grant enters next season as the Tide's most dangerous returning weapon on offense.
Also earning Second Team status was linebacker Rolando McClain, another true freshman who made an instant impact on the Tide defense this season coming straight out of high school. While McClain's production was off and on throughout the season, the Decatur native finished with the fourth-most tackles on the team (70) and ended the season on a high note with a 15-tackle game against Auburn that included a 23-yard interception return that helped shift the momentum of the game. McClain's role as the signal caller of the defense was an enormous responsibility to undertake for a player less than a year removed from high school, proving that Nick Saban and his staff have confidence that McClain has the potential to become a leader for the Tide defense both on the field and off.
Click here to see the entire Rivals.com 2007 Freshman All-American Team
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