Three Alabama linebackers were represented on the preseason watch list for the 2018 Butkus Award, it was announced on Monday. Alabama was the only school with three players on the 51-man list.
Redshirt junior Anfernee Jennings, sophomore Dylan Moses and junior Mack Wilson were all on the list. The Butkus Award is presented annually to the nation’s best linebacker. Jennings and Wilson were also preseason candidates for the Bednarik Award.
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.
Moses played both inside and outside linebacker for Alabama during his true freshman season. He finished 2017 with 30 tackles, including 5.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. He also had one interception.
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 a team-high four interceptions as a sophomore.
Alabama players have won the Butkus Award four times since it was first given in 1985, tied with Oklahoma for the most of any school. Most recently, Reuben Foster won it in 2016. You can see a full list of this year’s preseason candidates here.