Three Alabama Defenders Make the 2022 Bednarik Award Watch List
Alabama is represented well on yet another preseason watch list as Will Anderson, Jordan Battle and Henry To’o To’o were named to the 2022 Bednarik Award Watch List by the Maxwell Football Club on Monday.
The Bednarik Award has been presented annually since 1995 to the best defensive player in college football, as voted on by the Maxwell Football Club. The award was named in honor of Chuck Bednarik, who was a two-way player who played both linebacker and center for the University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia Eagles.
Anderson was the most dominant player on the defensive side of the ball for the Crimson Tide in 2021, accounting for 101 total tackles, including 33.5 tackles for loss, and 17.5 sacks, which ranked first in the nation. Some awards he won for his 2021 season are the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, SEC Defensive Player of the Year and Cotton Bowl Classic MVP. As well as the Bednarik Award watch list, he has made some other preseason watch lists such as for the Maxwell Award, Walter Camp Player of the Year Award and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy.
To many people's surprise, Battle chose to come back to Alabama for his senior season and hone his safety skills rather than entering the 2022 NFL Draft. Last season, he had 85 total tackles and three interceptions, two of which resulted in pick-sixes. Like Anderson, Battle is also on some other preseason watch lists, including for the Jim Thorpe Award, the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and the Wuerffel Trophy.
After spending his first two collegiate years playing for Tennessee, To’o To’o came to Alabama last season via the transfer portal. In his first season with the Tide, he had 111 total tackles, which was the most on the team, four sacks and one forced fumble. Like Battle, To'o To'o decided to forgo the draft and return to the Tide for his senior season. He was also named to other preseason watch lists such as for the Butkus Award and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy.
Alabama has had two Bednarik Award winners since it was first awarded in 1995, with them being Jonathan Allen and Minkah Fitzpatrick winning it back-to-back in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
All three defenders are expected to lead a much more experienced Alabama defense into next season as the Tide looks to claim championship number 19.
When Tennessee Beat Bama, These Things Didn’t Exist
Alabama Crimson Tide All-Time Passing Leaders