Tag Archives: Cyrus Kouandjio

Mosley earns unanimous all-American

Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley (32) celebrates after stopping Auburn during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Auburn, Ala., Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley (32) celebrates after stopping Auburn during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Auburn, Ala., Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

All the all-American honors have been distributed and Alabama senior linebacker C.J. Mosley finished as a unanimous first-team all-American.

He swept the five teams used to determine the elite honor, and become 24th Alabama player to do so. He added first-team all-American status from the Football Writers Association of American and American Football Coaches Association on Wednesday.

They go along with his Associated Press, Sporting News and Walter Camp Foundation awards he received last week.

Safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, quarterback AJ McCarron and offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio were named to the AFCA team, while Kouandjio and Clinton-Dix were named to the FWAA team.

Kouandjio and Clinton-Dix are now a consensus all-Americans. Kouandjio claimed AFCA, FWAA, Associated Press and Walter Camp Foundation honors, while Clinton-Dix took first-team honors from the AFCA, FWAA and Sporting News. He was a second-team pick from the Associated Press. 

Four AFCA all-Americans

Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley (32) reacts with teammate Alabama linebacker Adrian Hubbard (42) after stopping Auburn on a fourth down during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Auburn, Ala., Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013. Auburn beat Alabama 34-28. (AP Photo/Skip Martin)

Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley (32) reacts with teammate Alabama linebacker Adrian Hubbard (42) after stopping Auburn on a fourth down during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Auburn, Ala., Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013. Auburn beat Alabama 34-28. (AP Photo/Skip Martin)

Four Alabama football players were named to the American Football Coaches Association’s all-American team.

They are linebacker C.J. Mosley, safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, quarterback AJ McCarron and offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio.

Here’s a story about Mosley and the crew and their previous all-American awards. Mosley is elite company.

Mosley is now only a Football Writers Association of America pick away from being an unanimous all-American.

As a member of the FWAA I nominated him to my regional representative. We’ll see if he makes a good argument for him to the other regional reps.

Kouandjio is now a consensus pick with the Associated Press and Walter Camp Foundation already selecting him.

Alabama is the seventh program to have four players on the AFCA team and first two do it twice. The first time was in 2008 with offensive lineman Andre Smith, center Antoine Caldwell, defensive lineman Terrence Cody and defensive back Rashad Johnson.

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron poses with the Maxwell Award after winning the honor during the College Football Awards show in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron poses with the Maxwell Award after winning the honor during the College Football Awards show in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

More all-American honors

Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley (32) lines up for the play during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Chattanooga on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2012, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley (32) lines up for the play during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Chattanooga on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2012, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

The all-American teams continue to be released Tuesday. Here’s the latest for the Alabama football team’s representatives.

CBS Sports: Linebacker C.J. Mosley and offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio were named first-team. Safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was second-team and offensive guard Anthony Steen earned third-team.

Associated Press: Mosley and Kouandjio were first-team, Clinton-Dix second and quarterback AJ McCarron third. And McCarron was a Heisman Trophy runner-up.

Sports Illustrated: Mosley, Kouandjio and Clinton-Dix were second-team and McCarron was only honorable mention.

Mosley was first-team on the Walter Camp and Sporting News last week and McCarron was first-team for Walter Camp. 

Cryus Kouandjio has a dream

Alabama offensive lineman Cyrus Kouandjio (71) blocks out during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Georgia State on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Alabama offensive lineman Cyrus Kouandjio (71) blocks out during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Georgia State on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Cyrus Kouandjio has an important job for the top-ranked Alabama football team. The offensive tackle has to block for the running backs to rush the ball and keep AJ McCarron safe so he can pass the ball.

When Kouandjio does his job he can look up and see a touchdown down the field and cheers. He understands his role and enjoys himself.

However, there is some jealousy. Kouandjio was asked about his highlights, he said there were some pancake blocks, but there something he wanted to do.

“One highlight play I haven’t gotten yet is get a touchdown,” Kouandjio said. “Before it’s all said and done, I’ll get a touchdown as an offensive lineman.”

During blocks, Kouandjio is on the lookout for a tipped ball or a fumble for him to grab and get to the end zone. As crazy as it sounds, he’s serious.

Receiver DeAndrew White was asked about Kouandjio’s dream, and laughed.

“Cyrus said he was going to score a touchdown one day?” White asked to make sure he heard the question right.

“Ah, I’ll be blocking for him if he do,” White said. “I can’t picture it, but anything can happen.”

Check out more about the Alabama football team in my main story in the TimesDaily and Decatur Daily about the versatility of defensive back Landon Collins.

Here’s my notebook, leading with how the Crimson Tide handles the off-the-field issues. And check out the below video of more from Kouandjio talking about the state of the team headed into the Kentucky game.

Saban on draft analysts, homecoming

Alabama head coach Nick Saban prepare to lead the team out before the first half of an NCAA college football game against Mississippi on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Alabama head coach Nick Saban prepare to lead the team out before the first half of an NCAA college football game against Mississippi on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Alabama coach Nick Saban was asked about the inconsistent play of starting offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio, and disagreed with that assessment.

Saban felt Kouandjio has done a good job, even though has has been flagged for several penalties, and has lost his share of battles in the trenches.

“I think Cyrus has played very well overall, if you look overall,” Saban said. “I think that a lot of expectations get created with these guys. I hate it that Mel Kiper and all these guys say this is the No. 1 guy at his position. I mean, they don’t even have an idea. Most of the teams haven’t even evaluated them yet when they are underclassmen. But what it does, it creates the expectation that this guys is the best left tackle that ever played the game. So every time he gets beat he’s not playing very well. But the fact of the matter is he still plays pretty well. Has he got beat a few times? Yeah. Is that that unusual for any player? Probably not. I’m sure if you ask him he would tell you things he wants to improve and do better. I think there are things we would like him to improve on and get better, but nobody here is disappointed in how he has performed and you know we’ll keep on trying to help him be as consistent performer as we can.”

Homecoming game

Saban loves homecoming week and the game, and encourages his players to embrace the festivities this week as the Crimson Tide prepares to face Georgia State on Saturday morning.

“I think it’s always special to be part of homecoming because it’s special to so many people who come back here and have great memories and I hope a lot of gratitude for those memories they had and developed and the relationship they developed during college, and this gives them an opportunity to come back and renew some of those memories and some of those relationships,” Saban said. “It’s always great to have those people to come back to the University of Alabama and be part of our team. We always look forward, as a team, to homecoming.”

Alabama's Million Dollar band performs before the first half of an NCAA college football game against Mississippi on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Alabama’s Million Dollar band performs before the first half of an NCAA college football game against Mississippi on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Tide well-prepared for oppnents

Alabama offensive lineman Arie Kouandjio (77) works a drill during NCAA college football practice, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo)

Alabama offensive lineman Arie Kouandjio (77) works a drill during NCAA college football practice, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo)

Part of the Alabama football team’s success comes from coach Nick Saban‘s approach to preparing for opponents.

Each week is not a crash course in study. It’s a long-term process that begins in spring practice.

“We do it in stages,” Saban said. “We look at a lot of opponents before spring practice. We make a menu of things we want to work on in spring practice. Then we do another study in the summer time on every opponent with a thorough scouting report. I go backward to forward. The stuff that’s more current is in our mind. Then we make the same menu for fall camp. Then when we go through the week of preparation it’s not the first time the players have seen the things we are going to do, especially if they run a difference offense.”

Also, check out my Saturday story on the Kouandjio brothers starting next to each other on the offensive line. They’ve had a long journey to reach this point and are enjoying every minute.

The Crimson Tide is talking the weekend off to rest and relax, and watch what other teams are doing.

Brothers on the line

Alabama offensive lineman Arie Kouandjio (77) works through drills during an NCAA college football practice. (AP Photo)

Alabama offensive lineman Arie Kouandjio (77) works through drills during an NCAA college football practice. (AP Photo)

The Kouandjio brothers earned starting jobs on the left side of the offensive line for the Alabama football team.

Cyrus, a junior, was a given since he was a returning starter. Arie,  a sophomore, bounced between guard and tackle during training camp. He finally landed at guard.

With less than a week to go before their first game together, Cyrus was thrilled on Monday about playing next to Arie.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “Wow, almost there. Hopefully, it goes well.”

This will be the first time they played side-by-side. Cyrus likes the concept.

“I know he’ll break his back trying to help me out and I’ll do the same for him,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it.”

Offensive linemen need great communication, and the thinking is they will do well since they are related.

“He knows what I’m thinking and I know what he’s thinking just by a look,” Cyrus said. “So it’s a slight advantage.”

 Check out my main story in Tuesday’s TimesDaily about Alabama’s first opponent, Virginia Tech. And check out my notebook that leads with looking at their last meeting.

Spring scrimmage No. 2 underway

Alabama wide receiver DeAndrew White warming up for the second scrimmage after being one of the high performers in the first one. (Copyright photo by Brett Hudson)

Alabama wide receiver DeAndrew White warming up for the second scrimmage after being one of the high performers in the first one. (Copyright photo by Brett Hudson)

After a 30-minute delay (for unknown reasons), the Crimson Tide football team took to Bryant-Denny Stadium for its second spring scrimmage, the final one before A-Day next Saturday.

Here is some video from the scrimmage, with photos, stats and full coverage coming to the blog soon.

Football Notebook: Practice update, 2015 season opener and more

The Crimson Tide has taken the field for its third spring practice, with just two more remaining before the team gets time off for spring break. Here is the big news from the media viewing period.

– Starting linebacker from 2012 Xzavier Dickson worked out with the defensive linemen on Wednesday. It was not uncommon for Dickson to put a hand on the ground in certain defensive alignments throughout the course of last season, but he generally practiced with the linebackers.

– Linebacker Denzell Devall was working alongside Adrian Hubbard in Dickson’s place.

– As for the interior linebackers, Tana Patrick was working ahead of Reggie Ragland in individual drills. The job is still very much up for grabs, but as it stands right now, Patrick is on top.

– The left guard battle seems to be heating up, as both Chad Lindsay and Arie Kouandjio were working with the first team. The other four starters, Cyrus Kouandjio at left tackle, Ryan Kelly at center, Anthony Steen at right guard and Austin Shepherd at right tackle were in tact as they were before.

– Finally, Alabama lost both players listed as long snappers on last year’s depth chart, Carson Tinker and Kelly Johnson, to exhausted eligibilities. Alabama had two walk-ons at the position in practice, likely waiting it out for the arrival of incoming freshman Cole Mazza.

Return to Dallas set for 2015

Not long after releasing the information of athletic director Mal Moore’s resignation (which you can read more about by clicking here), Alabama released that it has come to an agreement to face the Wisconsin Badgers to open the 2015 season in the Cowboys Classic.

Alabama started the 2012 season with an appearance in the Cowboys Classic, beating Michigan 42-14. Southeastern Conference teams are 2-0 in the Cowboys Classic, as Alabama’s victory followed up a 40-27 win for LSU over Oregon in 2011. LSU is featured in the 2013 Cowboys Classic, meeting the TCU Horned Frogs.

Alabama has not lost to a Big Ten team since its loss in the Music City Bowl after the 2004 season to Minnesota, 20-16.

Dave Hart voices dedication to Vols

Former Alabama assistant athletic director and current Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart went on with a Knoxville sports radio station in the wake of Moore’s resignation and talked about his name popping up as a potential replacement.

Alabama 2013 Pro Day: Pupils turning to teachers for next generation

Amongst the hordes of statewide media and NFL scouts, a certain crowd of VIPs was almost lost: the current members of the Alabama football team, those that are not en route to a National Football League city after April’s draft.

Players made their excitement to attend clear.

Former Alabama defensive end Damion Square remembers being in their shoes and is openly bitter than an injury took away his turn to perform in the spectacle.

“It kind of hurts me to watch and I can’t perform,” Sqaure said. “I want to put my best foot forward out here. I want to coach my guys up and watch their mistakes and hopefully take it in and get better from it.”

Square still hopes to use his experience on-the-field for Pro Day to help the upcoming NFL talent.

“I’m a team guy. I support my guys,” he said. “We grinded hard over the last five years that I’ve been here. I want these guys to get the results that they want. Me, myself, too.”

Alabama head coach Nick Saban could not help but to look ahead at the future, as well.

“I think all of our guys would like to have the opportunity some day to develop a career as a football player, which means can they play at the next level,” Saban said. “I don’t think that’s a bad motivator as long as you keep the priorities of being a good person, doing what you need to do to develop a career off the field by graduating from school and being motivated to develop a career as a football player. I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

“To see guys before you and know how hard they’ve worked, the kind of success they had individually and team success, which all contributes to guys getting opportunities, I think is a good thing.”

To see what the players in the event did, click here to see the players run the 40-yard dash, click here to see video of other drills and click here to see some video of Jesse Williams’ activity.

Countdown to Spring Football: Offensive Line Breakdown

Barrett Jones has moved on from the Crimson Tide to pursue an NFL career, seen here at the NFL Scouting Combine. (AP photo)

Barrett Jones has moved on from the Crimson Tide to pursue an NFL career, seen here at the NFL Scouting Combine. (AP photo)

Daily Bama Blog correspondent Brett Hudson, like he did for the BCS National Championship Game against Notre Dame, will count you down to the beginning of spring practice with another series. Each day, Brett will break down a different position group going into spring practice until the beginning of practice on March 16. Here is the schedule.
Thursday: Quarterbacks (click here to read it)
Friday: Running backs (click here to read it)
Saturday: Wide receivers (click here to read it)
Yesterday: Tight ends/H-Backs (click here to read it)
Today: Offensive Line
Tomorrow: Defensive Line
Wednesday: Linebackers/Pro Day
March 14: Cornerbacks
March 15: Safeties
March 16: Opening day of spring practice

This may be the hot-button issue of spring training: the boys in the trenches that so ritually decide the outcome of games. The drama surrounding this group are the three starters from the prevous two national championship teams that must be replaced before the journey for a three-peat can begin.

It all starts at the anchor, where Barrett Jones leaves a large void in both talent, football IQ and leadership. Alabama seems to favor Ryan Kelly to replace him. Kelly, from West Chester, Ohio, will enter the 2013 season as a redshirt sophomore after playing off the bench in nine games in 2012 and being named to the SEC-All Freshman Team.

At guard, Anthony Steen is sure to keep his spot as a starter, and Alabama has options to replace Warmack. Chad Lindsey and Leon Brown could both step in guards, plus guard Arie Kouandjio. If the name Kouandjio looks familiar, that’s because his younger brother, Cyrus, has quite the lock on his starting tackle position from last season.

Just like the guard position that needs to be filled, Alabama has options to replace D.J. Fluker. Both Brown and Lindsey could fit in as a tackle, as could Brandon Green, Brandon Hill, Alphonse Taylor and incoming freshman Grant Hill.

Breakdown: One senior (Steen), five juniors (Brown, C. Kouandjio, A. Kouandjio, Lindsey, Shepherd), two sophomores (Kelly, Hill), two redshirt freshmen (Taylor, Greene), one freshman (Hill).

Prediction: The obvious starters will hold their spots, being Kouandjio and Steen, and Kelly should establish a firm hold on the center spot. But the others need to buckle up: they’re in a battle that could easily last throughout the spring up until the first week of the regular season.

The Crimson Tide and Twitter

Alabama offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio posted the above Tweet, hoping the world doesn’t end Dec. 21, as some say the Mayan calendar predicts.

As it happens, I agree with him 100 percent.

Here are some other posts on Twitter from Crimson Tide players recently:

HaHa Clinton-Dix (@HaHa_CD6): Practice Tomorrow and I’ve never been this excited about it… #RoadTo15

Barrett Jones (@BarrettAJones), while watching San Francisco beat New England on Sunday: “That gostkowski field goal may seem meaningless to most, but it just gave me a one point victory and put me in my fantasy championship.”

Amari Cooper (@amari_coop2), apparently watching a replay of his game-winning touchdown catch and celebration against Georgia: “Naw I don’t dance all I do is stay two steps ahead.”

Nick Perry (@NIckPerry_27), who may not be a big fan of “Rudolph the Red-nose Reindeer” these days: “Mom and this Christmas music gots to go!!!!”

Kenny Bell (@TheKennyBell7), looking for a buddy this past Sunday: “I wanna play monopoly r some board games n chill on this rainy day but Dnt have nobody to play with.”

Alabama coaches pick seven as players of the week

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama — Alabama offensive tackles D.J. Fluker and Cyrus Kouandjio had the focus on them last week because LSU featured a strong outside pass rush.

The pair did a good job, however, and the Tide coaches have honored them as two of Alabama’s offensive players of the week. Wide receiver Kevin Norwood also was a player of the week.

Adrian Hubbard and Xzavier Dickson represented the defense. On special teams, Vinnie Sunseri and Cody Mandell were selected.

The up-to-date players of the week through nine games:

Offense
Three:
Eddie Lacy, T.J. Yeldon, Michael Williams, D.J. Fluker
Two: Chance Warmack, AJ McCarron, Amari Cooper, Kevin Norwood
One: Barrett Jones, Cyrus Kouandjio

Defense
Seven:
C.J. Mosley
Four: Dee Milliner
Two: Adrian Hubbard
One: Robert Lester, Deion Belue, Vinnie Sunseri, Nico Johnson, Denzel Devall, Xzavier Dickson

Special teams
Three:
Cade Foster, Cody Mandell
Two: Dee Hart, Jeremy Shelley, Christion Jones, Cyrus Jones, John Fulton, Vinnie Sunseri
One: Landon Collins, Brent Calloway, T.J. Yeldon, Nico Johnson, DeAndrew White.

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The Crimson Tide and Twitter, after the LSU game

Some of the better Twitter posts by Alabama players after Saturday’s 21-17 win over LSU:

AJ McCarron (@10AJMcCarron): “Words can’t explain the emotions of that game but I can say I have the best teammates & fans in the world. Love this team! #bamanation #RTR”

Nico Johnson (‏@JOHNSON35BOY): “MY TEAM HAS HEART”

Jesse Williams (@ThaMonstar): “That was Fun. Time to head Home.”

Cyrus Kouandjio (‏@ck_allday71): “Favorite part of the night is seeing all those people flicking us off on the way to the airport.”

Kenny Bell (‏@TheKennyBell7), showing the same deadpan sense of humor Nick Saban has: “it probably b dead in ttown when we make it”

This one tugs at me. Plenty of people inside and outside the LSU program like place-kicker Drew Alleman a lot. Here’s what he posted after the game:

Big job Saturday for Alabama’s Fluker, Kouandjio

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama — One of the biggest responsibilities Saturday when Alabama faces LSU will fall upon offensive tackles D.J. Fluker and Cyrus Kouandjio.

The Bengal Tigers have a quality defensive line, especially with ends Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery. They’ve helped LSU rank second nationally in pass efficiency defense and fifth in tackles for loss.

Fluker, a junior, and Kouandjio, a sophomore, often will draw the chore of trying to hold back Mingo and Montgomery.

“I think overall they’ve done a pretty good job all year,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said. “You can’t expect guys to block every guy, every time, every play. And we certainly know that they’ve been beaten a few times. But at the same time, when you look at their whole body of work this year, both guys have done a really good job of blocking the edges.”

Montgomery, a junior, will line up often against Kouandjio. Montgomery leads LSU in sacks (four) and tackles for loss (nine). Mingo, who is a senior, will draw Fluker often. Mingo is tops in quarterback hurries (nine).

But Saban said stopping the push rush relies on more than Fluker and Kouandjio.

“They are one of the pass-rushing teams in the league,” Saban said. “They’ve got two really good edge rushers. They have really good team speed. Their inside guys can rush as well. Even though they’re bigger, more physical guys, they do have quickness and they can push the pocket.

“When you have edge rushers and you push the pocket in the middle, the quarterback has a hard time stepping up away from that rush. The combination of those things make them a very effective team.”

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