Florida Atlantic: Made one assisted tackle against the Owls ... part of the starting unit allowed only 35 yards of offense in three quarters of action. Mississippi: Had four tackles (two solo) in win over the Rebels ... helped limit Mississippi to 80 yards rushing and 218 total. Missouri: Started and made two tackles (one solo) as Alabama limited Tigers to three yards rushing (129 total). Tennessee: Play on special teams earned player-of-the-week honors ... started at weakside "will" linebacker and made four tackles (two solo). Mississippi State: Made two assisted tackles coming off the bench against the Bulldogs. LSU: Racked up a career-high 12 tackles (two solo, also assisted on a tackle for loss). Texas A&M: Made two tackles with one solo stop against the Aggies. Western Carolina: Named an Alabama defensive player of the week following his four tackles (one for loss). Auburn: Started and made two solo tackles in Iron Bowl 49-0 shutout ... also forced a fumble, his second of the year. Georgia: Came off the bench to make pair of tackles (one solo) in 32-28 victory to secure the Tide's second SEC championship during his career.
Arkansas: Was not scheduled to see extended action vs. the Hogs due to their passing attack, but an injury to C.J. Mosley in the first quarter gave him an expanded opportunity to make plays ... finished with one solo tackle in the Tide's conference-opening win. Florida: Made his first start of the season at will linebacker ... had four tckles with a fumble recovery in the Tide's 38-10 win ... helped limit the Gators to just 15 yards rushing. Vanderbilt: Started and recorded his second career interception and his first of the season ... made three tackles with half of a tackle for loss. Mississippi: Made a career-best two tackles for loss (-9 yards) and recorded his second-career sack (15 yards) ... helped limit the Rebels to 141 total yards and just 28 yards on the ground -- mostly on quarterback scrambles ... his seven tackles were a team high and the second-highest total of his career ... garnered Defensive Player of the Week honors for his efforts vs. the Rebels. Tennessee: Earned UA Defensive Player of the Week honors after registering six tackles with three solo stops ... forced a fumble in the second half and deflected a pass that was intercepted by Dont'a Hightower ... helped limit UT to just 155 total yards and six points.
LSU: Had a career-best 11 tackles, including three solo stops ... helped limit the No. 1 Tigers to 239 yards and just nine points ... the 11 tackles is the most by an Alabama player this season ... named the UA Coaches' Defensive Player of the Week for the third straight week. Mississippi State: Started at will linebacker but did not have a tackle. Georgia Southern: Recorded the second-most tackles on the team with six ... broke up one of seven Eagles passes. Auburn: Did not start but recorded two solo tackles for loss of -3 yards ... helped limit the Tigers to just 140 total yards ... AU had just 44 yards --- 25 rushing -- through three quarters and gained the rest after the Tide had already locked up the win in the fourth quarter. LSU (BCS National Championship Game): Started and made four tackles as the Tide claimed its second national championship in the last three years ... had two solo stops and helped limit LSU to 92 total yards and just 39 yards rushing.
Florida: Recorded two tackles, including a solo stop ... made his first career interception on a key play on the goal line, picking off a Trey Burton jump pass in the end zone. South Carolina: Johnson played but did not record any statistics as the Gamecocks employed multiple receivers that kept the Tide out of its regular 3-4 package. Tennessee: Earned a start and recorded two solo tackles. LSU: Recorded five tackles, including two solo stops ... added a tackle for a loss of one yard. Mississippi State: Came off the bench to record one solo tackle. Georgia State: Tallied one solo tackle and a quarterback hurry. Auburn: Earned a start at the mike linebacker spot and registered a tackle for a loss of a yard. Michigan State: Was second on the team with four total tackles against the Spartans ... registered three solo stops in the start ... also had a tackle for loss of five yards, one of 11 for the Crimson Tide on the day.
LSU: Came off the bench to record two solo tackles, including his first career sack that went for a loss of 15 yards. Mississippi State: Came off the bench at linebacker and recorded one solo tackle. Chattanooga: Tallied four tackles, including three solo stops ... recorded one tackle for a loss of one yard ... helped the Tide hold the Mocs to just 84 total yards of total offense. Auburn: Recorded one pass breakup in limited action against the Tigers' spread offense as Alabama deployed nickel and dime defenses most of the day. Florida: Made two solo stops, including one tackle for a loss of a yard ... helped the Tide defense hold the Gators to just 88 yards rushing and a season-low 13 points. Texas: Contributed with one solo tackle in the Crimson Tide's 37-21 win over the Longhorns in the Citi BCS National Title Game.
Ranked as the No. 2 outside linebacker by Rivals.com ... listed as the No. 2 inside linebacker by Scout.com and ESPNU ... played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl ... two-time Alabama Sports Writers Association's first-team 4A All-State selection (2007-08) ... rated No. 4 on The Birmingham News Super Senior list ... registered 78 tackles as a senior in 2008 with two sacks and 11 interceptions ... had 70 tackles as a junior with 15 tackles for loss ... notched his career high in tackles as a sophomore in 2006 with 128 stops, including 113 solo tackles, 13 tackles for loss and two interceptions ... coached by Heath Harmon at Andalusia High School ... chose Alabama over LSU, Southern California, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Texas A&M and Tennessee.
On tape, Alabama's Nico Johnson is one of this year's stoutest run defenders. The 6-2, 249 pound sledge hammer seems to enjoy taking on and shedding blocks and is an aggressive, drag-down tackler. He's also a player who scouts expect to work out well, though this athleticism doesn't always translate onto the field in coverage. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
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