The versatility of Minkah Fitzpatrick was a hot commodity when he arrived at the University of Alabama two years ago as a five-star cornerback, but it has taken on a dominant form this season.
He was all over the field last week in the Crimson Tide’s 27-19 win over Texas A&M in loud, hostile Kyle Field. Fitzpatrick, a native of Old Bridge, N.J., lined up at corner, safety, star (nickel) and money (dime) during the game, to a tune of five tackles, two tackles for loss, a forced fumble, a pass breakup and a crucial interception in the fourth quarter.
After being recognized as one of seven players of the week for Alabama and one of six Southeastern Conference honorees, the junior defensive back was named Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week – courtesy of Football Writers Association on today.
Before playing the Tide, the Aggies turned in 448.2 yards offensively.
Fitzpatrick and company rendered the high-powered unit to 308 yards; a difference of 140.2 yards from its normal output. He assisted a defense that created four sacks, seven tackles for loss and three turnovers. Prior to the season, the 2015 signee was a preseason candidate for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy – which goes to college football’s defensive player of the year.
Former Alabama defensive end Jonathan Allen was the latest player in school history to win the honor, taking home the award last season after collecting 10.5 sacks and 16 tackles for loss.
This year’s winner will be celebrated on Monday, Dec. 4 at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, N.C.