Alabama Quartet Named to Sporting News All-America Team
The Alabama football team placed four players on the The Sporting News All-America Team, the outlet announced Tuesday afternoon.
The Crimson Tide had three first-team honorees and a second-team selection. Nagurski Trophy and Ted Hendricks Award winner Jonathan Allen, Butkus Award winner Reuben Foster and Outland Trophy finalist Cam Robinson were first-team selections, while sophomore Minkah Fitzpatrick received second-team honors.
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). 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) and rush defense (63.4 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.