Alabama senior linebackers Rashaan Evans and Shaun Dion Hamilton have been named to the 2017 Dick Butkus Award Watch List announced today by the Butkus Foundation.

The two are among 51 candidates from around the country named to the preseason list. Four Crimson Tide players have won the award previously – Rueben Foster (2016), C.J. Mosley (2013), Rolando McClain (2009) and Derrick Thomas (1988).

Evans spent his first season at inside linebacker in 2016 after playing on the outside as a freshman and sophomore and provided critical depth to the Tide linebacking corps. He played in all 15 games of his junior campaign, starting the final two contests – the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and the College Football Playoff Championship Game. He totaled 53 tackles with four sacks (-16 yards), 4.5 tackles for loss (-17 yards), a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Evans added six quarterback hurries and two pass breakups to his season totals in 2016.

Hamilton earned the starting job at middle linebacker before suffering a season-ending knee injury in the SEC Championship Game. He finished the season with 64 tackles, including nine tackles-for-loss and two sacks. A key run stopper from his middle linebacker spot, Hamilton collected 52 of his stops against the rush and had two interceptions on the season with 40 yards in returns.

The Butkus Award has been presented annually since 1985 by the Butkus Foundation to recognize the top linebacker in college football. The award is named in honor of college and NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus. The 2017 winner will be announced at the conclusion of the regular season.