Over the course of 125 of college football history, some of the country’s stingiest defenses has propelled Alabama football to 16 national championships under coaches such as Wallace Wade, Frank Thomas, Paul “Bear” Bryant, Gene Stallings and Nick Saban.

The tradition of defense has carried on through the first 10 years of Nick Saban’s run at Alabama with defenders such as Jonathan Allen, Rolando McClain, Don’t’a Hightower and Reuben Foster.

While the Crimson Tide lost a plethora of key contributors from the 2016 squad, a potential difference maker returns for 2017.

Rashaan Evans recorded 53 tackles including 4.5 tackles for loss and four sacks a season ago. In the loss to Clemson, the Auburn, Alabama native posted 11 tackles.

During Wednesday’s edition of The Blitz, former Alabama fullback Martin Houston examined the potential of Evans to compete for the Butkus Award which goes out to college football’s top linebacker.

After examining the possibilities for Jeremy Pruitt’s entire defense for the upcoming season, Houston reiterated a prior prediction that he made for Evans in 2017.

“I have gone on record as saying Rashaan Evans will win the Butkus Award in 2017.” Houston said.

The former Alabama fullback analyzed the potential for Evans to be a vocal leader for Alabama’s defense, his ability to be a consistent presence at middle linebacker and how good of a replacement he can be for Reuben Foster.

The Blitz kicks off live and local coverage of Alabama sports every day from 6-7 AM on Tide 102.9/100.9 and the radioPup app.