Evans, Fitzpatrick, Hamilton and Hurts candidates for three awards
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama seniors Rashaan Evans and Shaun Dion Hamilton have been named semifinalists for the Dick Butkus Award while sophomore quarterback Jalen Hurts and junior defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick have been named semifinalists for the Maxwell Award and the Chuck Bednarik Award, respectively, it was announced Monday.
Evans and Hamilton are among 15 linebackers from around the country named to the Butkus semifinalist list. Reuben Foster (2016), C.J. Mosley (2013), Rolando McClain (2009) and Derrick Thomas (1988) are Alabama’s previous Butkus Award winners.
Hurts is one of 18 semifinalists for the Maxwell Award, which is presented annually to the player of the year in college football. Previous Alabama players who have been honored with the award include Derrick Henry (2015) and AJ McCarron (2013).
Fitzpatrick is one of 18 semifinalists for the Chuck Bednarik Award, which honors the top defensive player in college football. Alabama’s Jonathan Allen became the first Crimson Tide student-athlete to receive the award in 2016.
A versatile athlete who can play in the middle or come off the edge for the Tide, Evans has collected 26 tackles on the season, while tying for the team lead with six tackles for loss (-30 yards) despite missing two games due to injury. He has also registered three sacks (-27 yards), five quarterback hurries, a pass breakup, a forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Evans has been at his best over the Tide’s last three games, recording 17 combined tackles against Texas A&M. Arkansas and Tennessee and a career-high 3.5 tackles for loss against the Razorbacks.
Hamilton is second on the Crimson Tide in total tackles (37) while ranking third on the team in tackles for loss with 5.5 (-22 yards). He has added 2.5 sacks (-17 yards), two quarterback hurries, a pass breakup and one forced fumble to his senior numbers. Hamilton was selected as the SEC Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts in the season opener against Florida State when he recorded a career-high 3.5 tackles for loss and a game-high eight tackles in the 24-7 win over the Seminoles.
A dynamic athlete who can hurt teams with his arm and his feet, Hurts became the first freshman quarterback to start under Nick Saban a season ago and led one of the most prolific offenses in UA history. The Houston, Texas, native ranks second in career rushing by a quarterback with 1,526 yards and is fourth in Alabama annals for touchdown responsibility with 51 for his career. He has totaled 32 career touchdown passes to rank seventh in UA history and has accumulated 5,529 yards of total offense, good for seventh on the Alabama career list.Already regarded as one of the top defensive backs in the nation, Fitzpatrick is the Tide’s third-leading tackler with 35 stops and has added 5.0 tackles for loss, one sack, four pass breakups, two quarterback hurries, one forced fumble and a blocked kick through eight games this season. The Old Bridge, N.J., native was a first-team midseason All-America selection by CBS, Sports Illustrated, the Associated Press, USA Today and The Athletic.