For Alabama’s opponents, it looks like the end of the Crimson Tide’s run of dominance is nowhere in sight. Alabama – along with Florida and Texas A&M – each led the SEC with four players named to the 13th annual SEC All-Freshman Team. For Tide fans, the appearance of T.J. Yeldon and Amari Cooper should come as no surprise. The names D.J. Pettway and Ryan Kelly – while not as familiar to the rest of the country – certainly earned their way onto the list as well.
TJ Yeldon has rushed for 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns this season, setting an Alabama freshman rushing record in the process.
Amari Cooper, as electrifying a freshman wide receiver as any you’ll find in the country, has 895 receiving yards and nine touchdowns on the season. He is only 29 yards away from breaking the Alabama freshman receiving record set by Julio Jones in 2008.
Ryan Kelly, Barrett Jones backup, saw action in nine games this year and looked more than capable of taking over the starting position once Jones leaves for the NFL.
DJ Pettway, who saw action in 12 of 13 games, finished the season with seven tackles and 1.5 sacks.
“We’re a young team,” has been the refrain from many opposing fans to help explain why their teams have had unsuccessful seasons. Alabama, a team that always seems to go against the grain, is in the BCS National Championship game once again despite having the second-fewest scholarship seniors of any team in the country. As they say, excuses are for losers.