Denzel Devall missed out on Bastrop High's championship run, but the former Ram standout is about to be fitted for a ring. Chances are it's going to be a big ring.

Devall, who played in all 14 of Alabama's games as a true freshman Jack linebacker, made one tackle in Monday night's BCS National Championship Game as the Crimson Tide embarrassed Notre Dame 42-14.

Devall finished the season with 18 tackles, two sacks for negative 15 yards, three tackles for minus 28 yards and three quarterback hurries. He had his best game against Mississippi State with a sack for a loss of eight yards and a stop in the backfield for minus 13.

In other news, Devall was recently named to The Sporting News' Freshman All-American team.

RANDALL MACKEY caught his first career touchdown pass in Ole Miss' 38-17 BBVA Compass Bowl victory over Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon in Birmingham, Ala.

Mackey hauled in a 27-yard pass from fellow former East Mississippi Community College quarterback Bo Wallace to give the Rebels a 14-0 lead late in the first quarter.

Mackey also rushed eight times for 36 yards.

The former Bastrop High Parade All-American finished his senior season with 79 carries for 325 yards and four touchdowns, while catching 25 passes for 346 stripes. He also completed 3-of-6 passes for 59 yards with a touchdown and a pick.

TECH TIES: New Southern Mississippi head coach Todd Monken has hired long-time Louisiana Tech offensive line coach Petey Perot and former Bulldogs' standout John Simon.

A member of the Bulldogs' staff for the past 12 years, Perot spent a total of 23 years during two separate tenures at Tech. This marks Perot's second time around in Hattiesburg as he was USM's O-line coach from 1997-99.
Simon, who will tutor the Golden Eagles' running backs, was coach and athletics director at Roosevelt High School in Dallas.

ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT: The University of Arkansas at Monticello softball team finished No. 7 in the nation among NCAA Division II softball programs with a collective grade point average of 3.488.

Eight of the squad's players earned National Fastpitch Coaches Association Scholar-Athlete status by compiling a gpa of 3.50 or better.

UAM's scholar athletes for the 2011-12 year were senior Chasity Desselle (3.815), junior Brittany Eitel (3.905), graduate Jennifer Hickman (4.00) of Bastrop, sophomore Kara House (3.645), junior Summer Huddleston (3.855), junior Beth Johnson (3.900), senior Maggie Sands (3.665) and graduate Haleigh Winnon (3.705) of Bastrop.

"I'm pleased with our continued effort to pursue academic excellence in the classroom and proud of this accomplishment," said head coach Alvy Early, whose team finished in the top 10 academically for the eighth consecutive year. "It was also gratifying to be able to claim the Great American Conference regular season and post-season tournament championships. To achieve that in one academic year is a tribute to the dedication and commitment of our players, and I'm very proud of them."

UAM's 2012 softball team was also successful on the diamond, finishing with a 40-14 record and winning the Great American Conference regular season and conference tournament championships.