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Old 12-27-2009, 09:16 PM   #1
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Default Tomlin Hints about McClain?

December 04, 2009, 1:00PM

Rolando-1204.jpgAlabama linebacker Rolando McClain has lots of fans, including NFL head coaches. (Press-Register / G.M. Andrews)Size? Check. Rolando McClain stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 258 pounds. Brandon Spikes is just as tall but 3 pounds lighter.

Speed? Check. McClain was clocked at 4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash at Decatur High School. Spikes ran a 4.7 at Crest High in Shelby, N.C.

Smarts? Check.

Florida quarterback Tim Tebow called McClain "that smart guy on their team that can get them in the right situation, the right place."

Alabama coach Nick Saban called Spikes Florida’s "leader on defense. He does a good job at directing their defensive team."

OK. So the two best players on the two best defensive units in college football, who are two of the five finalists for the Butkus Award as the best linebacker in the country, who will be two of the most important players in the SEC Championship Game, have it all.

But people who know them say that’s not all.

To their size, speed and smarts, add a sense of humor.

What?

A sense of menace makes sense for a linebacker, but a sense of humor? These two?

"Rolando is not afraid to let his hair down," said Tennessee assistant Lance Thompson, who coached the Alabama linebackers during McClain’s first two seasons.

"Ro used to drive Coach Saban crazy. Coach is all business. Ro would be out there at practice, a little joking, a little kidding."

Florida safety Ahmad Black called Spikes "the funniest player I’ve ever played with."

Black said Florida does its homework on the personal lives of opposing players, such as former Ole Miss tackle Michael Oher, whose life story is told in the book and movie "The Blind Side."

Spikes-1204.jpgFlorida linebacker Brandon Spikes is funny, his teammates say. (The Associated Press)Before Florida played Ole Miss in 2008 — the last time the Gators lost — Spikes learned that Oher’s middle name is Jerome. Black said that, when Ole Miss came to the line, Spikes started chanting, "Jerome’s in the house!"

Saturday will be the last time college football will see McClain and Spikes in the same house.

McClain is a draft-eligible junior – who’s yet to declare whether he’ll stay at Alabama or go pro — and Spikes is a senior. ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper, on his Big Board of top available prospects regardless of position, lists McClain at No. 15 and Spikes at No. 24.

McClain, the No. 1 high school prospect in Alabama in the class of 2007, said he was recruited but not offered a scholarship by Florida because he committed early to Alabama.

He leads Alabama with a career-high 96 tackles this season. He’s tied for the team lead with 12 tackles for loss, and he also has four sacks and two interceptions. His fourth-quarter sack against Auburn forced a three-and-out to get the ball back for Alabama’s winning drive.

The Alabama coaching staff has named McClain its defensive player of the week eight times in 12 games this season. He’s a finalist for two national awards, the Butkus Award and the Lott Trophy.


Thompson said Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin spoke at Tennessee’s spring clinic, asked about McClain and asked Thompson to give McClain a message the next time they spoke.

"Tell him he can be my Mike linebacker any day."


Spikes, the No. 1 high school prospect in North Carolina in 2006, chose Florida late in the process over Alabama, North Carolina and Virginia Tech. (supa edit:twat, Hokies would of been awesome with you, you bum)[/b]

He led Florida in tackles the past two seasons. His numbers are down this year because he’s missed time due to injuries and a one-game suspension, but he’s still fourth on the team with 53 tackles. He also has 4½ tackles for loss and three sacks.

In the past two seasons combined, he’s returned four interceptions for touchdowns, which is the Florida career record.

Spikes also is a finalist for two national honors, the Butkus Award and the Chuck Bednarik Award.

"He’s big. He’s fast. He’s very athletic, and he is very instinctive," Saban said. "He’s an outstanding playmaker, but he is a physical, tough guy."

That toughness can overflow at times, for Spikes and McClain. Along with the sense of humor outsiders don’t see, both players have displayed a sense of menace with the whole world watching.

Late in the first half of Alabama’s season opener against Virginia Tech, McClain got flagged for a dead-ball personal foul when he knocked down an offensive lineman 20 yards downfield.

When a second official rushed in from behind to separate the players, McClain slapped his hands away and earned another penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Saban called McClain’s outburst "self-indulgent behavior" but said the junior apologized to the team at halftime and to the head coach after the game.

"Ro’s been a very positive guy," Saban said. "He’s certainly a team leader. Guys who are that competitive and that emotional need to know when they’re going overboard.

"He learned from it."

McClain also was involved in a scuffle at a fraternity party before the Mississippi State game in 2008 – Alabama determined he was reacting to a slur directed at him — but was neither arrested nor suspended.

Spikes became a YouTube villain after this season’s win over Georgia. Cameras caught him, in a pile, sticking his fingers inside the facemask of Georgia running back Washaun Ealey in an apparent attempt to gouge Ealey’s eyes.

Florida originally suspended Spikes for the first half of the next game. After a public outcry, the school increased the suspension to a full game and said it was Spikes’ idea to do so.

Florida determined that Spikes was retaliating for having his helmet ripped off and an eye poked earlier in the game. Spikes issued a statement apologizing to his team, his coaches and Ealey.

"I don’t condone that," Meyer said. "That’s not who Brandon is. That’s not who we are. He got caught up in emotion."

McClain said he’s not that familiar with Spikes.

"He’s obviously a good guy, a good linebacker, or he wouldn’t be as highly rated as he is," McClain said, "but I personally don’t watch him on TV."

That’s OK.

Come Saturday, the football world will be watching both of them. As Thompson said, when you watch McClain and Spikes, "you’re looking at the epitome of both teams."

News staff writer Doug Segrest contributed to this story.

http://blog.al.com/kevin-scarbinsky/...on_spikes.html

Hopefully Tomlin likes McClain to pick him
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Old 12-27-2009, 09:59 PM   #2
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Default Re: Tomlin Hints about McClain?

if McClain comes out, i think the steelers have 0 chance of getting him. he'll be in buffalo or denver. i wouldn't be opposed to trading back in the mid 20's to pick up spikes. i think teams like dallas and sandiego might get interested in him.
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Old 12-27-2009, 11:52 PM   #3
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Default Re: Tomlin Hints about McClain?

Yeah, I love Ro McLain's skills. I think he is still a couple seasons away from being an impact LB, but he will go high based on talent and upside like Timmons did 3 years ago. Still curious why we never took a shot at Jasper Brinkley last year in the draft.......he went something like 5th round.
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Old 12-28-2009, 01:09 AM   #4
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Default Re: Tomlin Hints about McClain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by El-Gonzo Jackson View Post
Yeah, I love Ro McLain's skills. I think he is still a couple seasons away from being an impact LB, but he will go high based on talent and upside like Timmons did 3 years ago. Still curious why we never took a shot at Jasper Brinkley last year in the draft.......he went something like 5th round.
brinkley was drafted by minnesota in the 5th. maybe the steelers might have picked him instead of burnett. they didn't have a 4th rd pick, they traded it to denver. brinkley has started the last 2 games for minny.
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"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." - Thomas Jefferson

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Old 12-28-2009, 11:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: Tomlin Hints about McClain?

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Originally Posted by MasterOfPuppets View Post
brinkley was drafted by minnesota in the 5th. maybe the steelers might have picked him instead of burnett. they didn't have a 4th rd pick, they traded it to denver. brinkley has started the last 2 games for minny.
Aaaargh......Brinkley was gone before we picked Burnett or Summers. Would have loved it if the Steelers traded up in the 7th to get Brinkley at the expense of either David Johnson or AQ Shipley, or even Summers.

Brinkley looked big, fast and instinctive from what I saw tonight in Minny. Perfect heir to Farrior at ILB.
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Old 12-29-2009, 06:15 AM   #6
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Default Re: Tomlin Hints about McClain?

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Originally Posted by El-Gonzo Jackson View Post
Aaaargh......Brinkley was gone before we picked Burnett or Summers. Would have loved it if the Steelers traded up in the 7th to get Brinkley at the expense of either David Johnson or AQ Shipley, or even Summers.

Brinkley looked big, fast and instinctive from what I saw tonight in Minny. Perfect heir to Farrior at ILB.
Brinkley would have been very useful to us ever this year, but was not ment to be I guess. Do you see any Brinkleys in this years draft? If we don't get a ILB very early, I think we may wait till the 4th of 5th round to draft on.
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Old 12-29-2009, 01:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: Tomlin Hints about McClain?

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Originally Posted by Texasteel View Post
Brinkley would have been very useful to us ever this year, but was not ment to be I guess. Do you see any Brinkleys in this years draft? If we don't get a ILB very early, I think we may wait till the 4th of 5th round to draft on.
Brinkley was my guy last year.

This year you will see the same skill-set in Micah Johnson out of Kentucky.
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Old 12-29-2009, 01:25 PM   #8
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Default Re: Tomlin Hints about McClain?

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Brinkley was my guy last year.

This year you will see the same skill-set in Micah Johnson out of Kentucky.
I was watching the UK bowl game and was really impressed by Johnson, he would look good in the B&G
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Old 12-29-2009, 02:33 PM   #9
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Default Re: Tomlin Hints about McClain?

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Originally Posted by steelersfanman92 View Post
I was watching the UK bowl game and was really impressed by Johnson, he would look good in the B&G
He is a beast...and a proto-typical 3-4 inside linebacker. He might actually be a better fit in our system then some of the LBers who are ranked higher than him.

http://www.nfldraftdog.com/draftdogi...ah-Johnson.jpg
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: Tomlin Hints about McClain?

the terps do have a good ILBer if he declares. ...i'd guess maybe a 3rd rounder ...
Alex Wujciak - 6-3 ...255lbs

[YOUTUBE]<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/zmvLVYFA7kA&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/zmvLVYFA7kA&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>[/YOUTUBE]

Quote:
120 Players You Need To Know

Maryland LB Alex Wujciak

By Richard Cirminiello

Who is Alex Wujciak? … It took two years for Wujciak to make his debut in College Park, but he sure was worth the wait for the locals. After redshirting in 2006 and sitting out 2007 with a knee injury, he spent all of 2008 making up for lost time. In just his first season on the field, he broke through with a team-high 133 tackles, earning All-ACC honors and promptly becoming one of the most important players on the defense. He’s a big fan of Chicago Bear Brian Urlacher, which shouldn’t be a surprise because he plays an awful like him. At somewhere north of 250 pounds, Wujciak will deliver the payload when he reaches his target, and has the keen instincts to constantly be around the ball. He plays with solid fundamentals and has great quickness in space, often sifting through a pile of jerseys to make a stop. He was heavily recruited from schools in Nebraska to New Jersey. Now that he’s healthy and has a full year of experience, Wujciak is about to validate all of those scholarship offers.

Wujciak’s best game so far was … last Sept. 27 at Maryland. At a time when Clemson was still considered a ranked and dangerous program, Wujciak helped drop the Tigers down another rung. He was everywhere for the Terps in the 20-17 upset, collecting a career-high 16 tackles and doing his part to keep the home team scoreless over the final 37 minutes of the game.

Why you should care about Wujciak? … After just one season of action, he’s already one of the top linebackers in the ACC. A second team all-star in 2008, he is the prototypical inside linebacker and a safe bet to keep getting better over the next two years. Maryland has gradually become a factory for NFL linebackers. Wujciak is already on the assembly line and working hard to become the next Terp defender to play on Sundays.

Positives about Wujciak … Wujciak plays with many of the qualities that coaches look for in an elite middle linebacker. Both big and physical, he craves contact and plays with a no-quit, blue-collar mentality. His feel for the position and natural instincts are two of the primary reasons he was able to make so many big plays as a sophomore. He flows nicely to the ball, will shed blockers, and rarely misses a tackle.

Negatives about Wujciak … While Wujciak doesn’t have an issue with his speed, he would like to get faster during the offseason. When you’re a 6-3, 255-pound linebacker, you’re just not going to run with the zip or the flash of an elite free safety. He’s also determined to get a little stronger, a job requirement considering how physical he plays and how much contact he dishes out.

A cool thing about Alex Wujciak you probably didn’t know … Wujciak’s dad Al played on the offensive line for Notre Dame in the 1970s, including the Irish’s 1974 national championship squad. In fact, he can be seen in the famous clip of Rudy Ruettiger at the end of the movie Rudy.

Career Statistics
2007: Did not play because of injury
2008: 133 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks
http://cfn.scout.com/2/844467.html

he had 131 tackles in 09
http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings...011&genpos=ILB
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“If tyranny and oppression come to this land it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” ― James Madison

"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." - Thomas Jefferson

"The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first." -Thomas Jefferson

"The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers." - Thomas Jefferson

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