Alabama’s defense is expected to continue its dominance in 2016.
On Friday, the Football Writers Association of America and Charlotte Touchdown Club announced the 88 candidates on watch for the Bronko Nagurski Award—honor presented to the best defensive player in the nation.
Alabama landed five players on the list with Jonathan Allen, Tim Williams, Reuben Foster, Marlon Humphrey and Eddie Jackson. All five guys served a major role in getting the Crimson Tide to a national championship in 2015 and its 16th in school history. While Allen and Williams combined for 22.5 of the team’s FBS-leading 52 sacks, Foster was second on the squad in tackles with 73.
Humphrey was solid playing opposite Cyrus Jones at cornerback. He registered 45 tackles, three tackles for loss, eight pass breakups, two forced fumbles and three interceptions in 15 games.
The 6-foot-1, 198-pound corner was involved on one of the most pivotal plays for Alabama in 2015, as he recovered an onside kick in the fourth quarter against Clemson in the CFP title game.
Jackson, a senior, is one of four Tide players to appear on a second award watch list. He was fifth on the team in tackles (46), while collecting six interceptions for 230 return yards and two touchdowns.
The Tide has yet to have someone win the Bronko Nagurski award and as for the Southeastern Conference as a whole, former LSU Tigers defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey was the last one to win in 2007. Prior to Dorsey, ex-Georgia Bulldogs cornerback Champ Bailey won the honor in 1998.