Alabama football’s Christopher Allen, Will Anderson Jr. and Christian Harris have been named to the 2021 Dick Butkus Award Watch List, the Butkus Foundation announced today.
Allen, Anderson Jr. and Harris are among 51 candidates from around the country named to the preseason list for the Butkus, which is given to the nation’s top linebacker. Four Crimson Tide players have won the award previously with Reuben Foster taking home the hardware most recently in 2016. Joining Foster on the list of Alabama linebackers to capture the honors are C.J. Mosley (2013), Rolando McClain (2009) and Derrick Thomas (1988).
Linebacker, Redshirt Senior
- One of the Tide’s veteran defenders, playing in 33 career games with four starts entering the 2021 campaign
- Earned second team All-SEC honors in 2020 after leading the conference in tackles for loss with 13 (-48 yards) as part of his 41 total stops
- Also registered six sacks (-33 yards) to go with five quarterback pressures, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery as a junior
- Suffered an injury that kept him off the field in 2018 but returned to play in 13 games as a sophomore, totaling 11 tackles, 4.5 of which went for a loss (-9 yards)
- Finished with six stops, including one for loss (-2 yards), while adding a pair of quarterback hurries and a forced fumble across his seven games of action as a true freshman
WILL ANDERSON JR.
- An elite edge defender who made his presence known across college football in 2020
- Returns for his second season with the Crimson Tide after being selected as the Shaun Alexander-FWAA Freshman of the Year and earning multiple Freshman All-America honors a season ago
- Started every game as a freshman, totaling 52 tackles including 10.5 for loss (-52 yards) and seven sacks (-39 yards), to go with a forced fumble and team-high eight quarterback hurries
- Ranked third in the SEC in sacks and tackles for loss at season’s end
- Applied 60 pressures (according to Pro Football Focus) through his 13 starts to lead the nation and more than double the next-closest freshman defender
- Looking to etch his name on the Tide’s list of standout linebackers now in his junior season
- Earned Freshman All-America honors in 2019 and retained his starting role in 2020, finishing second on the Tide defense in tackles with 79
- Totaled seven tackles for loss (-31 yards) and 4.5 sacks (-28 yards) while adding six quarterback hurries, two pass breakups and an interception in 2020
- Selected to the Freshman All-SEC Team to go with his Freshman All-America honors in 2019 after playing in all 13 games with 12 starts
- Led the SEC’s first-year defenders in tackles for loss at 7.5 (-14 yards) as part of his 63 tackles that finished seventh among the league’s freshmen
This information was acquired via a recent press release.
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Patrick Dowd is a Reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via Pat_Dowd77