Alabama senior linebacker Reggie Ragland is one of five finalists selected for the 2015 Bronko Nagurski Trophy, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and Charlotte Touchdown Club announced on Thursday morning. The Nagurski Trophy is presented annually to the National Defensive Player of the Year.

Ragland joins safety Jeremy Cash (Duke), defensive end Shaq Lawson (Clemson), linebacker Tyler Matakevich (Temple) and defensive end Carl Nassib (Penn State) as the five nominees for this year’s Nagurski Trophy. The award is named after the legendary Bronko Nagurski, who dominated college football at the University of Minnesota as a bruising fullback and defensive tackles from 1927-29.

The Crimson’s Tide heartbeat on defense, Ragland has been a force for one of the nation’s top-ranked units. He has captained a Tide defense that ranks second nationally in rushing defense (77.1 ypg), fourth in total defense (278.1 ypg), and seventh in pass efficiency defense (100.61) and scoring defense (15.3 ppg). The senior has a team-leading 82 tackles, including 5.5 for a loss (-20 yards) and 2.5 sacks (-10 yards). He has also recorded five pass breakups, three quarterback hurries and two forced fumbles.

From the linebacker spot, Ragland has led the team in tackles in seven of the Crimson Tide’s 10 games this season and has helped the Alabama defensive unit limit its last seven opponents to only 11.8 points per game following the early loss to Ole Miss.

Very active off the field in the community, Ragland has dedicated himself to volunteering in Tuscaloosa during his four years at The University of Alabama. He has gone above and beyond what is asked of student-athletes, working more than 50 hours of community service and double-digit volunteer opportunities. He chose to forgo the NFL Draft and returned for his senior season to complete his degree, fulfilling a promise he made to his mother to finish his education while at The University of Alabama. Ragland is scheduled to graduate this December.

This will be Alabama’s fifth consecutive season with a finalist for the award. The previous Crimson Tide players to be named finalists include: Landon Collins (2014), C.J. Mosley (2013), Dee Milliner (2012), Mark Barron (2011), Terrence Cody (2009) and Rashad Johnson (2008). This year’s winner will be announced Dec. 7 and presented the Bronko Nagurski Trophy at a gala banquet sponsored by ACN at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, N.C.