Alabama Lands Five on Sports Illustrated and USA TODAY All-America Teams
Alabama placed five players on both the Sports Illustrated and USA TODAY All-America teams, the outlets announced on Thursday.
The Crimson Tide had three first-team honorees and a pair of second-team selections on the Sports Illustrated team. Nagurski Trophy and Ted Hendricks Award winner Jonathan Allen, Butkus Award winner Reuben Foster and Outland Trophy finalist Cam Robinson were first team, while senior linebacker Tim Williams and junior punter JK Scott received second-team honors.
Allen and Foster were also first team selections by USA TODAY with senior tight end O.J. Howard and sophomore defensive back Minkah Fitzparick joining Williams on the second team.
Allen, the 2016 SEC Defensive Player of the Year, has been a disruptive force in the middle of the vaunted Alabama defensive front that leads the country in rush defense (63.4 ypg) and defensive touchdowns (10). He has a career-high 56 tackles this season, including 13 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. In addition, Allen has 15 quarterback hurries, a blocked field goal attempt and two fumble recoveries, both of which were returned for touchdowns.
Foster has captained an Alabama defense that is widely regarded as the best in the country. The unit ranks first nationally in both total defense (247.8 ypg) as well as scoring defense (11.8 ppg). Foster leads the Crimson Tide in tackles with 94, including 12 tackles for loss and four sacks. He also has recorded eight quarterback hurries and two pass breakups.
Robinson, the SEC Jacobs Blocking Trophy winner, leads an Alabama offensive line that has provided protection for a balanced attack that leads the SEC in scoring at 40.5 points per game and is second in total offense (471.3 yards per game), rushing offense (245.0 yards per game) and yards per rushing attempt (5.7). He earned First Team All-SEC honors Monday and is the second Alabama player to win the Jacobs in as many years. Center Ryan Kelly won the award in 2015.
Fitzpatrick is currently enjoying his best season with the Crimson Tide, recording a career-high 56 tackles, including five tackles for loss and one sack. The sophomore leads the SEC with five interceptions and 158 return yards, including two pick-sixes. The two returns for a score give Fitzpatrick four in his career, the most in Alabama history. His 100-yard interception return vs. Arkansas on Oct. 8 is the longest in school history.
Howard, who is also a finalist for the John Mackey Award and the Senior CLASS Award, has been an athletic threat and matchup challenge for opposing defenses this season. He has caught 13 passes for 445 yards and a pair of touchdowns in 2016. The Prattville, Ala., native is on the verge of cracking the Crimson Tide career top 10 for receptions with 106, just two shy of 10th all-time at Alabama.
Scott is averaging 47.7 yards per punt on 46 attempt, has forced 11 fair catches and dropped 17 punts inside the 20. Twenty-three of his 46 punts have traveled more than 50 yards, including six of 60 yards or more. His season-long boot of 66 yards was at LSU, with two traveling 63 yards at Ole Miss and Arkansas. He also had a 60-yarder vs. Texas A&M.
A disruptive force on the outside, Williams shares the team lead in sacks with Allen at 8.5 and is second on the team with 15.5 tackles for loss. Nearly 60 percent of his 27 tackles have come behind the line of scrimmage. The Baton Rouge, La., native also has one sack, two pass breakups, 12 quarterback hurries and a fumble recovery that he returned 23 yards for a touchdown against Arkansas. His 21.5 career tackles for loss ranks No. 7 on the Alabama all-time list.