Alabama senior linebacker Reggie Ragland received pleasant news Thursday, courtesy of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and Charlotte Touchdown Club.
Both organizations named Ragland as one of five finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Award, an honor presented annually to the nation’s best defensive player. Ragland has been Alabama’s anchor this season, posting 82 total tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and five pass breakups.
The senior has captained a group that stands fourth nationally total defense, allowing 278.1 yards per game.
Alabama is seventh in scoring defense (15.3 ppg) and pass efficiency defense (100.61). It is second against the run (77.1 yards), second in sacks (38) and tied for 12th in interceptions with 14 for 408 yards and four touchdowns.
When he is not on the gridiron, Ragland takes great pride in his community work. He regularly visits hospitals, schools and Tuscaloosa’s VA center. Ragland chose to forgo the 2015 NFL Draft in order to return and earn his degree. The Madison (Ala.) native will graduate in December.
Ragland becomes the fifth Crimson Tide player in program history to be a finalist for this award. Previous Alabama players named as finalist include Landon Collins (2014), C.J. Mosley (2013), Dee Milliner (2012), Mark Barron (2011), Terrence Cody (2009) and Rashad Johnson (2008).
This year’s winner will be announced on Dec. 7 and presented the award at a gala banquet inside the Westin Hotel at Charlotte, N.C.