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Six Tide players accept invitations to Senior Bowl, including Shaun Dion Hamilton

Chuck Cook - USA TODAY Sports

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — College football witnessed the return of a University of Alabama football tenacious defense in Monday’s Allstate Sugar Bowl matchup with Clemson. 

As it prepares to face Georgia in the national title game on next week, six Crimson Tide players have accepted invitations to compete in the 2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. 

Five of the six participants hail on defense – Shaun Dion HamiltonRashaan EvansDa’Shawn HandLevi Wallace and Anthony Averett – while JK Scott represents special teams.  

Despite suffering a season-ending knee injury against LSU in the regular season, Hamilton was Alabama’s captain on defense. He collected 40 total tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, two pass breakups, two quarterback hurries and one forced fumble through nine games. 

Evans is second on the team in tackles (66) and has 11.5 tackles for loss (team high) with six sacks, seven quarterback hurries, three pass breakups and one forced fumble.

He was all over Mercedes-Benz Superdome, assisting the Tide in affecting Tigers’ quarterback Kelly Bryant. Hand was credited with his third sack of the season versus Clemson, and chimed in with 26 tackles – including 3.5 for loss after missing three games with medial collateral ligament injury to his knee.  

Both Averett and Wallace excelled in blanketing Clemson’s wide receivers. Wallace’s two pass breakups increased his team-high amount to 14, to pair alongside three interceptions. Averett, on the other hand, is third in breakups with seven and accounts for one interception on the year. 

Scott pinned the Tigers inside its own 20-yard line three times, with two of his attempts falling inside in the 10. Only 19 of his 48 boots have been returned, and seeing how Alabama has the best punt coverage team in the nation, the Tide stands second in the department to help Scott. 

This year’s Senior Bowl will be played on Saturday, Jan. 27 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. 

Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @Smsmith_TDALMag.

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