Each week during the football season, we'll offer up our top 12 players on the Crimson Tide roster. Please note that this list isn't based solely on the previous week's performances. Instead, it's based on a number of factors, including season-long production.
Other than one untimely slip, Dee Milliner's night was Thorpe Award worthy.
1.] C Barrett Jones: During the course of his UA career, the guy has provided more temporary fixes than a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon. First start at center went swimmingly as UA ground game racked up 232 rushing yards. Shotgun snaps were a non-issue.
2.] CB Dee Milliner: In recording five tackles, four pass breakups and an interception, Milliner confirmed his status as the next great one at Cornerback U. Picked up Walter Camp national defensive player of the week honors among others for his play against Michigan. Epic matchup with Arkansas wide receiver Cobi Hamilton just two weeks away.
3.] OG Chance Warmack: Dominant junior season carried over into the 2012 season opener. Showed mobility on second-quarter screen pass to TJ Yeldon, who eschewed Warmack's help while picking up 26 yards on the play.
4.] OT DJ Fluker: Seeing as how Nick Saban recently compared Fluker to former Cowboys tackle Flozell Adams, the big man's dominant performance in the Metroplex seemed more than a appropriate. Graded out at 85 percent against Michigan, the highest of any UA lineman, and recorded three pancake blocks.
5.] LB CJ Mosley: Tied for the team lead in tackles with seven stops against the Wolverines. Studied Denard Robinson like a soccer mom reading Fifty Shades of Grey before picking off Michigan's quarterback and making his way into the end zone. Combine Mosley's coverage skills with his sideline-to-sideline ability and the spread is dead. Picked up defensive player of the week honors from the UA coaching staff.
6.] QB AJ McCarron: Ask for more explosive plays and ye shall receive. Or at least DeAndrew White did. Bolstered by a 51-yard touchdown pass to White, McCarron averaged 18.1 yards per completion in the opener. Didn't always appear comfortable in the pocket in Arlington, something that should improve as quarterback-pass protection relationship gets more snaps. Worst decision of the night was pregame attire, a Tom Cruise in Rain Man and Risky Business mash up accentuated by a purple bow tie last seen on an MTV VJ in 1983.
7.] RB TJ Yeldon: First UA true freshman to rush for 100 yards in his debut; SEC co-freshman of the week; and offensive player of the week honors from the UA coaching staff. The question is, where can the youngster go from here? Alabama fans are excited about the possibilities.
8.] RB Jalston Fowler: After an Alabama three-and-out on its first offensive series of the night, the Michigan defense had to feel pretty good about itself. Then came Fowler and Yeldon, a bludgeoning one-two punch that would have made even Bo Schembechler proud. When Brady Hoke said his team didn't play "Michigan football", he basically said, "we can't do what Alabama did in the running game." Fowler played a large role in that and will continue to do so for the remainder of the season.
9.] TE Michael Williams: Don't forget this guy when talking about the offensive line. You don't run for six yards to the weakside out of an unbalanced line inside the Michigan 10 if your tight end isn't capable of moving defensive linemen off the ball. Alabama did that in the fourth quarter against UM. And just when you overplay the run, the 6-foot-6 Williams makes for a nice target in the end zone.
10.] NT Jesse Williams: Like the rest of the defensive front seven, Williams went unchallenged by the Michigan running game. Not your typical nose tackle, as evidenced by his presence in the dime package. Sustained a mild concussion in the opener and status for WKU week is day-to-day.
11.] ILB Trey DePriest: Seven tackles tied for the team lead in the season opener. Also had a tackle for loss. Not bad considering a sprained ankle sidelined the sophomore in the second half. Fixture in base and nickel packages.
12.] S Vinnie Sunseri: Four tackles, including a crunching stop of UM running back Thomas Rawls for a loss, and a pass breakup in his first game as a starter. Saw action at both safety and star. With a 71-yard completion now on tape, UA can expect to see more deep balls when it goes cover one with a safety in the middle of the field.
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