Outside linebacker Anfernee Jennings, inside linebacker Mack Wilson and defensive lineman Raekwon Davis were named to the preseason watch list for the 2018 Bednarik Award. The Bednarik Award is given annually to the nation’s best defensive player by the Maxwell Football Club.
Alabama was one of four schools with three defenders named on the preseason list. Clemson, Michigan and Southern Cal also had three candidates on the list.
Davis finished the 2017 season with 69 tackles and 8.5 sacks as a sophomore. The 6-foot-7 defensive lineman had a key interception in the national championship game as well. He’s projected as a potential first-round pick in the 2019 NFL draft by some analysts.
Jennings enters his redshirt junior season after posting 41 tackles, six tackles for loss and one sack. He injured his ankle in Alabama’s season opener against Florida State and missed the national championship game with another injury but was still an effective player in 10 games. He had 19 tackles in 2016.
Wilson is poised to be a starter at inside linebacker as he begins his junior season. He posted 40 tackles last season as a backup who was called upon for a bigger role when injuries took their toll on the position group in 2017. He had 2.5 tackles for loss and four interceptions as a sophomore.
You can view the full watch list here.
Defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick won the Bednarik Award in 2017 and defensive lineman Jonathan Allen won the award in 2016.
Alabama also had three players on the preseason watch list for the 2018 Maxwell Award announced on Monday.