Alabama had five players named semifinalists to three very prestigious college football awards on Tuesday.
Alabama linebacker Henry To’oTo’o was one of 15 players named to the Butkus Award semifinalist list, an award given to the nation’s top linebacker. To’oTo’o has been the quarterback of the Crimson Tide defense and the glue holding it together. To’oTo’o leads Alabama in tackles with 60. To’oTo’o will hope to become the Crimson Tide’s fifth Butkus Award winner, joining former Alabama winners Reuben Foster, C.J. Mosley, Rolando McClain and Derrick Thomas, when the award winner is announced on December 8 at the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards.
Both Alabama quarterback Bryce Young and running back Jahmyr Gibbs were part of the 20 players selected as semifinalists for the Maxwell Award, an award presented to the College Football Player of the Year. Both Young and Gibbs will hope to become the Tide’s sixth Maxwell winner joining former Alabama winners DeVonta Smith, Tua Tagovailoa, Derrick Henry and AJ McCarron.
Jahmyr Gibbs has been Alabama’s most electrifying offensive weapon, having the ability to score a touchdown every time he touches the ball. Gibbs has recorded 672 rushing yards for six touchdowns as well as 31 receptions for 301 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Gibbs also has seven kick returns for 164 yards to give him 1,137 all-purpose yards putting him 10th in the nation in this category.
Reigning Maxwell Award winner Bryce Young has accumulated 1,906 passing yards with 18 touchdowns despite missing a game and a half due to a shoulder injury. Young also has 137 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns. While this hasn’t been Young’s best year, you can never count him out of anything.
Alabama also had two players, linebacker Will Anderson, Jr. and defensive back Kool-Aid McKinstry, selected as semifinalists for the Bednarik Award, the award given to the top defensive player in college football. The Crimson Tide has two Bednarik Award winners from former defensive standouts Minkah Fitzpatrick and Jonathan Allen.
Will Anderson, Jr. is one of the most feared defenders in the nation, which is why he has been given the nickname “Terminator.” Anderson is seventh in the nation in tackles for loss with 12, including his six sacks for the season. He also has recorded 36 tackles, as well as a team-high 10 quarterback pressures and an interception which he returned 25 yards for a touchdown.
Alabama defensive back Kool-Aid McKinstry has been the most consistent player on the Alabama defense. McKinstry has been a true lock-down corner for the Tide all season, breaking up a team-high 11 passes as well as accounting for 23 tackles and one sack on the year. Not only has McKinstry been a standout on defense. He has been a big contributor as a punt returner, leading the nation in punt return yards with 319 and return average with 17.7 yards per return.
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