Anderson Jr. and McKinstry for the Bednarik with Gibbs and Bryce Young on the Maxwell


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama had two players apiece selected as semifinalists for the Bednarik and Maxwell awards, the Maxwell Football Club announced on Tuesday morning.


Linebacker Will Anderson Jr. and defensive back Kool-Aid McKinstry were part of a list of 20 semifinalists for the Bednarik Award. Former Crimson Tide standouts Minkah Fitzpatrick (2017) and Jonathan Allen (2016) have each laid claim to the Bednarik. The award is presented annually to the top defensive player in college football as chosen by the Maxwell Football Club.


Running back Jahmyr Gibbs and quarterback Bryce Young were named semifinalists for the Maxwell Award, part of a 20-player group of semifinalists. Alabama has had five Maxwell winners, including Young (2021) a season ago. The Tide’s current signal-caller is joined by DeVonta Smith (2020), Tua Tagovailoa (2018), Derrick Henry (2015) and AJ McCarron (2013) to make up UA’s list of previous winners. The Maxwell is presented each season by the Maxwell Football Club to the College Football Player of the Year.


Both lists will announce a group of three finalists on Nov. 20. The winner for both the Bednarik and Maxwell will be announced on Dec. 8 as part of the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show.


Bednarik Award

Will Anderson Jr., Linebacker

  • One of the most feared defenders in college football
  • Leads the SEC and is tied for seventh nationally with 12 tackles for loss (-49 yards), including six sacks (-32 yards)
  • Totaled 36 tackles on the year while also contributing a team-high 10 quarterback pressures
  • Added one blocked field goal and an interception which he returned 25 yards for a touchdown

Kool-Aid McKinstry, Defensive Back

  • A consistent contributor at both corner and punt returner
  • Posted 23 tackles, including two for loss (-16 yards) and one sack (-12 yards)
  • Broke up a team-high 11 passes while adding a fumble recovery on defense
  • Paces all Division I punt returners with 319 yards and a 17.7 yards per return average across 18 punts


Maxwell Award

Jahmyr Gibbs, Running Back

  • A big-play threat with the ball in his hands
  • Recorded a team-high 1,137 all-purpose yards on the season to rank third in the SEC and 10th nationally
  • Averaging 6.9 yards per carry to lead the league and rank fifth in the country
  • Alabama’s rushing leader with 672 yards and six touchdowns on a team-high 98 carries
  • Logged a team-best 31 receptions for 301 yards and three scores as a receiver
  • Also returned seven kickoffs for 164 yards with a long of 57


Bryce Young, Quarterback

  • The reigning Maxwell Award winner and one of the nation’s top passers
  • Ranks 19th in Division I and third in the SEC for passing touchdowns with 18 despite missing 1.5 games
  • Accumulated 1,906 yards on 146-of-221 passing with 18 touchdowns compared to three interceptions
  • Added 26 rushes for 137 yards and three scores on the ground