Senior noseguard Tommy Jackson, senior middle linebacker Travis Williams and sophomore defensive end Stanley McClover have been nominated for the award presented annually to the nation's top college defense player. Each of those Tigers earned All-SEC honors last season as their team posted a 13-0 record.
Williams led the Tigers in tackles after moving from weakside linebacker to middle linebacker as a junior. He was credited with 80 tackles and made two sacks, two interceptions and 9 1/2 tackles for losses.
Jackson, who is known as “T.J.,” finished fourth on the SEC Championship team with 51 tackles and often required a double-team block. He had 2 1/2 sacks and seven tackles for lost yardage.
T.J. Jackson will be one of the team's most experienced players this season.
McClover tied for the team lead in sacks with Quentin Groves at 7 1/2 and finished with 35 tackles, including 10 for lost yardage. He forced four fumbles and deflected two passes.
Williams says his Tigers, who have won 15 straight games, will be a factor in the 2005 SEC race. "I really believe we are going to have a strong team again this year even though a lot of the preseason magazines don't seem to think so," he tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "I really like this team."
Ten players will be named semi-finalists for the award in October. The field will be narrowed to three in November and the winner will be announced in December.