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November 28, 2012

Notebook: Tide players reel in honors

TUSCALOOSA | University of Alabama players Dee Milliner, C.J. Mosley and Chance Warmack were named to the American Football Coaches Association All-America team Wednesday.

Milliner, a junior cornerback, and Mosley, a junior linebacker, were among six Southeastern Conference selections out of 11 on the AFCA All-America defense. Warmack, considered one of the nation's top NFL prospects at offensive guard, was one of only two SEC players on the offense.

The AFCA team was the 67th annual selection of the nation's top players. Other Southeastern Conference representation on the team included Texas A&M offensive lineman Luke Joeckel, South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, Texas A&M defensive end Damontre Moore, Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones and LSU safety Eric Reid.

Also Wednesday, UA quarterback AJ McCarron was named among 10 finalists for the Manning Award, presented each year to the nation's top passer. The winner for that honor will be announced in January. McCarron is also a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, another quarterback honor, which has cut its list to five. McCarron missed the latest cut for the Walter Camp Award.

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Next Thursday, other UA players will learn if they've won some of college football's most prestigious awards at the Home Depot College Football Awards presentation from Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Center Barrett Jones is one of three finalists for the Outland Trophy as the nation's top lineman, an award he won last year. Milliner is one of three finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back.

Mosley is one of five finalists for the Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker. The Butkus Award is unaffiliated with the Home Depot Awards show and typically announces its winner in January.

Black to play UA coach Nick Saban indicated the decision to play freshman wide receiver Chris Black, who is expected to forego a redshirt Saturday to help fill in for the injured Kenny Bell, was not made lightly.

"This decision was made with Chris and his family, so he had input in it as well, in terms of that whole scenario," Saban said. "It wasn't just made by me. Sometimes you really try and go overboard to redshirt a guy and then all of a sudden a guy gets hurt in another year where he could have used his redshirt year which he can't now use. There's a lot of different scenarios."

Black has practiced throughout the week. Saban has previously said Black would have been in the receiving rotation this season had he not sustained a shoulder injury in August that was thought, at the time, to be season-ending.

Quotable "He's a great, great youngster. He's a guy that has improved tremendously from the time he stepped in this place. We work together all the time. He's a guy that plays on the end I play. Me and him rotate in and out of the game. We just try to wear the guy across from us. When he gets in, I tell him all the time, it shouldn't be a setback. You should come in and play just like I play, or even better." - Defensive end Damion Square on sophomore Jeoffrey Pagan, who earned staff player of the week honors for the first time in his career for his Iron Bowl performance.

Tidebits Defensive back John Fulton (turf toe) and nose guard Brandon Ivory (ankle) practiced this week and are expected to be available Saturday. ... Georgia and Alabama quarterbacks Aaron Murray and AJ McCarron rank No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the NCAA in pass efficiency rating. ... The Crimson Tide practiced in its indoor facility this week "to get acclimated to the turf" (in the Georgia Dome), Saban said.

Reach Chase Goodbread at chase@tidesports.com or at 205-722-0196.

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