TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama seniors Jonathan Allen and Reuben Foster were selected to a list of five finalists for the 2016 Bronko Nagurski Trophy, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and Charlotte Touchdown Club announced on Thursday morning. The Nagurski Trophy is presented annually to the National Defensive Player of the Year.
Allen has been a force for one of the nation’s top-ranked units, anchoring the defensive line. He has a team-high 13 quarterback hurries to go with his 40 tackles, seven of which are sacks (-55 yards), which ranks second on the team. The senior defensive lineman has returned a team-leading two fumble recoveries for 105 combined yards and two touchdowns. His 25 career sacks places him second on the Tide’s all-time list behind former Crimson Tide standout and NFL Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas.
From the linebacker spot, Foster has been the Crimson Tide’s heartbeat of the defense with a team-high 70 tackles. As the main signal caller for one of the nation’s top-ranked units, the senior has led the team in tackles in six of the Crimson Tide’s 10 games this season and has helped the Alabama defensive unit limit opponents to only 12.8 points per game on the season. He has also collected seven tackles for loss (-27 yards) and two sacks (-18 yards) to go along with four quarterback hurries and two pass breakups on the year.
Allen and Foster join defensive back Tarvarus McFadden (Florida State), linebacker/defensive back Jabrill Peppers (Michigan) and defensive tackle Christian Wilkins (Clemson) as the five nominees for this year’s Nagurski Trophy. The award is named after the legendary Bronko Nagurski, who dominated college football at the University of Minnesota as a bruising fullback and defensive tackle from 1927-29.
This will be Alabama’s sixth consecutive season with at least one finalist for the award. The previous Crimson Tide players to be named finalists include: Reggie Ragland (2015), Landon Collins (2014), C.J. Mosley (2013), Dee Milliner (2012), Mark Barron (2011), Terrence Cody (2009) and Rashad Johnson (2008). This year’s winner will be announced on Dec. 5 and presented the Bronko Nagurski Trophy at a gala banquet sponsored by the CAN at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, N.C.