Five Alabama Football Players Named National Award Semifinalists
Five Alabama football players were announced as semifinalists for three separate college football awards on Monday. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has been named a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award while redshirt junior Deionte Thompson and redshirt junior Quinnen Williams were tabbed as semifinalists for the Bednarik Award, both of which are presented by the Maxwell Football Club. Sophomore Dylan Moses and junior Mack Wilson were also recognized Monday as semifinalists for the Dick Butkus Award, which honors the nation’s top linebacker.
Tagovailoa is one of 20 semifinalists for the Maxwell Award, which is presented annually to the player of the year in college football. Previous Alabama student-athletes who have been honored with the award include Derrick Henry (2015) and AJ McCarron (2013).
Thompson and Williams are two of 20 semifinalists for the Chuck Bednarik Award, which honors the top defensive player in college football. Minkah Fitzpatrick (2017) and Jonathan Allen (2016) became Alabama’s first two Bednarik honorees over the last two seasons.
Moses and Wilson are among 10 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.
In his first full season as Alabama’s starting quarterback, Tagovailoa is authoring one of the top passing seasons in UA history. The sophomore leads the nation in pass efficiency, yards per completion and yards per attempt. His 25 touchdown passes this season ranks No. 4 on the Alabama single-season list and he is already No. 5 on the Tide career touchdown pass list with 36 scoring tosses in 17 career games. In eight games this season, Tagovailoa has completed 107-of-152 passes for 2,006 yards and 25 touchdowns with no interceptions for an efficiency rating of 238.84.
Thompson is UA’s leading tackler this season with 47 stops. He is tied for second on the team with two interceptions and also ranks second in pass breakups with five in his redshirt junior campaign for a total of seven passes defended, tying for ninth in the Southeastern Conference. Thompson has contributed 1.5 tackles for loss (-2 yards) and has totaled two interceptions for a combined 65 return yards.
A powerful defensive lineman who worked his way into the starting nose guard spot this season, Williams has totaled 8.5 tackles for loss (-30 yards), good for second on UA, and leads the Tide with nine quarterback hurries to go with a safety and one pass breakup. The redshirt sophomore has added 33 tackles and 1.5 sacks (-8 yards) to his 2018 line
A versatile athlete who has worked on the inside and the outside during his two seasons at UA, Moses has recorded 42 tackles to rank second on the team. He has totaled 7.5 tackles for loss (-26 yards) and 2.5 sacks (-17 yards) as a sophomore, while adding one pass breakup, a forced fumble and one quarterback pressure in 2018.
Wilson was dominant down the stretch for the Tide last season and has carried that late success over into his junior campaign. He has totaled 34 tackles, including 2.5 for a loss (-5 yards) and one sack (-1 yard), while contributing four quarterback pressures and three pass breakups this season.