A pair of Alabama football standouts were named as finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Award on Thursday, per the Charlotte Touchdown Club. Defensive end Jonathan Allen and linebacker Reuben Foster have been studs all year. The duo decided to forgo the 2016 NFL Draft, dedicating one more year to perfect their craft.
Allen, a senior, is among the team leaders in tackles (40), tackles for loss (7.5) and sacks (seven), while leading the unit in quarterback pressures with 13. He’s recorded two pass breakups and two touchdowns, both coming on fumble returns against Southeastern Conference opponents (Ole Miss, Texas A&M).
Foster, a senior, headlines this year’s group with 70 tackles. An instinctive signal caller, he has totaled seven tackles for loss, two sacks, two pass breakups and four quarterback hurries. Behind Allen and Foster, the Tide carries the nation’s third-best total defense (2,5945 ypg), second-best scoring defense (12.2 ppg) and top-ranked run defense (68.8 ypg). This is the sixth consecutive year in which Alabama’s had someone named a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Award—presented to college football’s National Defensive Player of the Year.
Ex-Tide players Reggie Ragland (2015), Landon Collins (2014), C.J. Mosley (2013), Dee Milliner (2012), Mark Barron (2011), Terrence Cody (2009) and Rashad Johnson (2008) all were finalists. This year’s winner will be announced on Dec. 5, and presented the Bronko Nagurski Trophy at a gala banquet sponsored by the CAN at the Charlotte (N.C.) Convention Center.