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Alabama linebacker repeats as Bronko Nagurski award winner

AP All-SEC Football
Vasha Hunt/AP
FR171624 AP
FILE - Alabama linebacker Will Anderson Jr. (31) jogs off the field after a 34-0 win over Austin Peay at an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Anderson was named the Defensive player of the year on the All-SEC team announced Monday, Dec. 5, 2022.(AP Photo/Vasha Hunt, File)

The Alabama Crimson Tide won’t get a shot at the 2022 college football title. But, the team’s trophy case still has a new addition. Alabama linebacker Will Anderson Jr. became just the second college football player to win the Bronko Nagurski award--twice. The honor is given to the nation's top collegiate defensive player. Anderson was presented the award on Monday night by the Charlotte Touchdown Club. The 6-foot-4, 243-pound Anderson had ten sacks for the Crimson Tide this season. Anderson won the award last year after recording seventeen and a half sacks. Anderson is a junior, who had two sacks in Alabama's regular-season win finale against rival Auburn and had his first touchdown when he returned an interception twenty five yards against Louisiana-Monroe. He joins former Northwestern linebacker Pat Fitzgerald as the only two-time winner of the award. Fitzgerald won the award in 1995 and 1996.

Alabama won't get a chance for the Heisman Trophy this year. Bryce Young was left out of this year's award for best college football player. Quarterbacks Stetson Bennett of Georgia, Max Duggan of TCU, C.J. Stroud of Ohio State, and Caleb Williams of Southern California are the finalists for the Heisman. The award given to the outstanding player in college football is determined by a vote of more than nine hundred sports journalists and past winners. It will be presented Saturday night at the Lincoln Center in New York. Williams and Stroud also are finalists for the Maxwell Award as the top performer in the college game. Williams, Stroud and Duggan also are up for the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award.

Pat Duggins is news director for Alabama Public Radio.
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