If there was ever a case to be made for someone returning for their senior season of college football, Jonathan Allen might be the poster boy. The Alabama defensive end was named the nation's best defensive player on Thursday night when he took home the Bednarik Award at the College Football Awards show.

"Just happy, excited," Allen said after the ceremony. "Words can't describe it. Winning an award of this caliber is awesome. I'm speechless. It's just the best feeling ever."

Allen turned down the chance to declare for the NFL Draft after his junior season to improve his play and increase his value. Less than a year later, the Virginia native will leave the Alabama football program as one of its most decorated players of all-time.

"It's been a dream. I couldn't even imagine my senior season going better than this. Graduating, permanent captain, the Nagurski, Bednarik, I mean it just keeps going. I don't even have time to absorb it all. I'm just blessed. God really blessed me. I have to give him all of the credit."

Along with the national awards, he's also been named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year by the AP and was a unanimous First Team All-SEC selection.