Nate Gettleman
Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick won the Bednarik and Thorpe awards.

Alabama football: Minkah Fitzpatrick brings home 2 national awards

Matt Speakman

Alabama football drives the conversation here at the Rammer Jammer, SEC Country’s daily Alabama athletics recap, but we’ll cover news for every facet of the Crimson Tide. Every morning, we’ll be here for the latest on Alabama football, basketball and every sport on campus.

Taking home awards

Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick will be coming back from the College Football Awards with some hardware. Fitzpatrick became the first Alabama player since Antonio Langham in 1993 to win the Thorpe Award, given to the nation’s best defensive back. He also was the second straight Alabama player to win the Bednarik Award for the nation’s top overall defensive player. Former Alabama defensive end Jonathan Allen won the award last year.

Two other players were nominated for major awards for the Crimson Tide. Punter JK Scott fell short of winning the Ray Guy Award, and center Bradley Bozeman was a finalist for the Rimington Trophy, but did not win.

In other headlines…

  • Clemson coach Dabo Swinney explained why he put Ohio State at No. 4 instead of Alabama.
  • Our own Christopher Walsh believes Alabama will be able to show what its made of during its playoff run.
  • Alabama linebacker Dylan Moses and wide receiver Henry Ruggs III were named to the SEC All-Freshman team.

Expected to stay

Rumors came fact Thursday as Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt accepted the head coaching job at Tennessee. This is the third straight year an Alabama coordinator has accepted a head coaching position at another school before the Tide’s playoff game. Pruitt accepted the position, but still plans to stay with Alabama until its season is over, according to reports. Now, Alabama must search for a new defensive coordinator. Our own Marq Burnett broke down the candidates. Georgia’s outside linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer was reported to be one of the people Alabama had in mind but later accounts had him becoming Pruitt’s new defensive coordinator at Tennessee. Pruitt already had hired another staff member, taking an Alabama coach with him. 

After the news became public, Alabama linebacker Mack Wilson said Pruitt was the best coach he has ever played for. Alabama coach Nick Saban also gave his endorsement of Pruitt.

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