November 15, 2007

Top Ten Tiders


Each Monday, BamaOnline's Matt Scalici lists his top 10 Tide performers. In effect, the list serves as a week-to-week ranking of Alabama's most valuable players.

1. DJ Hall Last Week: 1
The Mississippi State Bulldogs took notice of LSU's strategy to double-up on the Tide's best player and limited Hall to 5 catches for 46 yards in Starkville. The Crimson Tide will need to get Hall more chances to make big plays in order to win out this season.

2. Rashad Johnson Last Week: 2
Johnson's first quarter interception put him on top of the SEC in interceptions this year, showing just how far the former walk-on has come. Johnson has established himself this season as one of the most reliable and hard-working contributors on the Tide defense.

3. Darren Mustin Last Week: 2
Mustin may not be a natural superstar talent but he more than makes up for it with his determination and his will to win. Playing a key role in the defensive front, Mustin continues to provide invaluable leadership for a Tide defense that has performed much better than expected this season.

4. Kareem Jackson Last Week: 3
The true freshman cornerback continues to provide hope for the future of the Tide defense shutting down opposing receivers like a veteran and showing the speed and athleticism of an All-SEC defensive back.

5. Javier Arenas Last Week: 5
Arenas didn't have many opportunities to display his all-star return ability hauling in just one kick return which he took an impressive 34 yards. Arenas continued to play a valuable role at nickelback for the Tide defense and brings intensity and speed to the Tide secondary when he's on the field.

6. Wallace Gilberry Last Week: 3
The senior defensive end has come on strong in the second half of the season piling up sacks and tackles for loss against some of the toughest competition in the nation. Gilberry is currently tied for second among active SEC players in sacks per game this season.

7. Ezekial Knight Last Week: 8
After years of wavering between positions, Knight appears to have settled into his role of defensive end/outside linebacker and is regularly providing the Tide with aggressive pass rushing and strong tackling in addition to hauling in two interceptions this season.

8. Matt Caddell Last Week: 8
Caddell remains the Tide's second-most reliable receiving threat this season hauling in 3 catches for 53 yards against the Bulldogs. With very few drops and consistent play-to-play effort, Caddell may be the most improved player on the Tide offense this season.

9. Simeon Castille Last Week: FRINGE
After suffering some minor burns against LSU, Castille rebounded and did a solid job in pass coverage against Mississippi State. The senior cornerback has not had the breakout year many expected but he remains a consistent defender and rarely gives up big plays.

10. Terry Grant Last Week: 7
With 19 carries for 75 yards, Grant put forth a solid effort against the Bulldogs but hasn't been able to take advantage of his explosive ability this season as much as Nick Saban had hoped he would. Grant continues to show potential but must develop more consistency as a runner.

SIX ON THE FRINGE: LB Rolando McClain, LB Prince Hall, TE Nick Walker, DT Lorenzo Washington, C Evan Cardwell, OT Andre Smith

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