Elite defender

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Alabama head football coach Nick Saban shakes Crimson Tide senior linebacker Nico Johnson’s hand Sunday night at the annual awards banquet. | Crimson Tide Photography

Alabama senior linebacker Nico Johnson was named one of two defensive players of the year at the Crimson Tide’s football banquet Sunday night.

The Andalusia native shares the award with defender Dee Milliner.

Additionally, Johnson also received the Pat Trammell Award.

For the season, Johnson has recorded 54 tackles (23 solo, 31 assists), the third-most on the team.

In Saturday’s 32-28 SEC Championship win over Georgia, Johnson had two tackles (1 solo, 1 assist).

The Pat Trammell Award is presented annually by the Jefferson County Alumni Association.

Trammell was Alabama legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant’s first star player, and an All-American quarterback for the Crimson Tide from 1958-1961.

He led the Crimson Tide to a perfect 11-0 season and the National Championship in 1961.

At age 28, Trammell died from metastatic testicular cancer, only two years after earning his M.D.

Ten years later when Pat Trammell Jr. reached college age, Bryant added funds to his scholarship fund endowment and asked that in the future, priority be given to the children of former players, according to reports.

Johnson and the second-ranked Crimson Tide will face top-ranked Notre Dame in the 2013 BCS National Championship Game on Mon., Jan. 7, 2013, at Sun Life Stadium in Miami. It will be Johnson’s third trip to the championship game in his four years as a member of the Crimson Tide’s football team.