The Alabama football team began preparations for Auburn on Monday with a 90-minute workout at the Thomas-Drew Practice Facility at the same time Barrett Jones and Dee Milliner were announced as finalists for the Outland Trophy and Jim Thorpe Award, respectively.
Jones, a native of Germantown, Tenn., is looking to join Dave Rimington (1981 & 1982) as the only two-time winner of the Outland Trophy. Jones claimed the 2011 trophy while playing left tackle for the Crimson Tide. He made the move inside to center as a senior in 2012 and has thrived there as well.
Jones has graded out at an average of 89.7 percent in the Tide's 11 games, including eight games over 90 percent. He has only six missed assignments on 606 plays this season while anchoring one of the nation's top offensive lines in 47 starts over the last four years.
Milliner, from Millbrook, Ala., is the Tide's second Thorpe Award finalist in the past two years (Mark Barron, 2011). He is also a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Award, which goes to the National Defensive Player of the Year. Milliner leads the SEC and ranks eighth nationally with 1.6 passed defended per game.
Milliner has 45 tackles from his cornerback position in 2012. He has started 10 games and accounted for 14 pass breakups and two interceptions while making four tackles for loss (19 yards) and 1.5 sacks (11 yards). His 30 career pass breakups are tied for third in school history and third in the NCAA among active players.
Alabama has won the Outland Trophy three times with Chris Samuels (1999), Andre Smith (2008) and Jones (2011) all honored. Antonio Langahm is the Tide's only Thorpe Award winner, claiming the 1993 trophy.
This year's Outland Trophy and Jim Thorpe Award winners will be revealed on ESPN during The Home Depot College Football Awards airing live from the Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney's BoardWalk at the Walt Disney World Resort on Thursday, Dec. 6, beginning at 6:30 p.m. (CST).
Alabama will focus Monday's practice on cleaning up errors from the Western Carolina game and getting a look at Auburn. Kickoff for Saturday's nationally-telecast game is set for 2:30 p.m. (CDT) with CBS's Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson calling the game, joined by Tracy Wolfson patrolling the sidelines.
INFORMATION SOURCE: University of Alabama Athletics