Allen, Fitzpatrick, Foster and Robinson earn first-team; Howard and Williams also honored
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama football team placed six players on the Associated Press All-America Team, the outlet announced Monday afternoon.
The Crimson Tide had four first-team honorees – the most of any school – as well as a second- and third-team selection. Defensive lineman Jonathan Allen, defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick, linebacker Reuben Foster and offensive tackle Cam Robinson were named to the first team, while linebacker Tim Williams received second-team honors and tight end O.J. Howard was named to the third team.
Allen, the Bednarik Award, Nagurski Trophy and Hendricks Award winner, has been a disruptive force in the middle of the vaunted Alabama defensive front that leads the country in rush defense (63.4 ypg). He has a career-high 56 tackles this season, including 13 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. In addition, Allen has 15 quarterback hurries, a blocked field goal attempt and two fumble recoveries, both of which were returned for touchdowns.
Fitzpatrick is currently enjoying his best season with the Crimson Tide, recording a career-high 56 tackles, including five tackles for loss and one sack. The sophomore leads the SEC with five interceptions and 158 return yards, including two pick-sixes. The two returns for a score give Fitzpatrick four in his career, the most in Alabama history. His 100-yard interception return for a touchdown at Arkansas on Oct. 8 is the longest return in school history.
Foster, the Butkus Award winner, has captained an Alabama defense that is widely regarded as the best in the country. The unit ranks first nationally in both total defense (247.8 ypg) and rush defense (63.4 ypg), as well as scoring defense (11.8 ppg). Foster leads the Crimson Tide in tackles with 94, including 12 tackles for loss and four sacks. He also has recorded eight quarterback hurries and two pass breakups.
The SEC Jacobs Blocking Trophy and Outland Trophy winner, Robinson leads an Alabama offensive line that has provided protection for a balanced attack that leads the SEC in scoring at 40.5 points per game and is second in total offense (471.3 yards per game), rushing offense (245.0 yards per game) and yards per rushing attempt (5.7). He earned First Team All-SEC honors Monday and is the second Alabama player to win the Jacobs in as many years. Center Ryan Kelly won the award in 2015.
A disruptive force on the outside, Williams shares the team lead in sacks with Allen at 8.5 and is second on the team with 15.5 tackles for loss. Nearly 60 percent of his 27 tackles have come behind the line of scrimmage. The Baton Rouge, La., native also has one sack, two pass breakups, 12 quarterback hurries and a fumble recovery that he returned 23 yards for a touchdown against Arkansas. His 21.5 career tackles for loss ranks No. 7 on the Alabama all-time list.
Howard, who is also a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award, has been an athletic threat and matchup challenge for opposing defenses this season. He has caught 13 passes for 445 yards and a pair of touchdowns in 2016. The Prattville, Ala., native is on the verge of cracking the Crimson Tide career top 10 for receptions with 106, just two shy of 10th all-time at Alabama.