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Alabama has two defensive players on Bednarik Award watch list

Alabama OLB Dallas Turner lining up against ULM
Photo comes via SEC Media Portal

A lot is expected from Alabama’s defense with Kevin Steele returning and experienced players back.

RELATED: Alabama DB Kool-Aid McKinstry named a candidate for Walter Camp Award watch list

Alabama has some defensive standouts on a few preseason award watch lists. The Chuck Bednarik Award, which goes to the nation’s top defensive player from the Maxwell Football Club, has a pair of Crimson Tide athletes on its watch list.

Dallas Turner and Kool-Aid McKinstry made the cut.

Turner, an outside linebacker, eyes a dynamic junior season. He takes over for the departed Will Anderson as the marquee edge rusher for the Tide. Turner collected eight tackles for loss, four sacks, nine quarterback hurries, and returned a fumble for a touchdown versus Tennessee in 2022. The South Florida native had an impressive freshman campaign with eight sacks, 10.5 tackles for loss, and five quarterback hurries in 2021 — earning Freshman All-SEC and Freshman All-American honors.

RELATED: Dallas Turner expects ‘Joyless Murderball’ from Alabama this season

McKinstry, a cornerback, could be a top 10 selection in the 2024 NFL Draft. He needs an electric campaign in the fall, but he improved between his freshman and sophomore seasons. McKinstry totaled a team-high 15 pass breakups and recorded an interception in 2022. He expects to be a lockdown defender on the boundary against the best wide receivers in the nation.

Alabama’s had three players to win the Bednarik Award since 1995.

Anderson was the latest to capture the honor last season, but Minkah Fitzpatrick won in 2017 and Jonathan Allen won in 2016.

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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 @CoachingMSmith.

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Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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