Six Alabama Players Put on Watchlists for CFB Awards
This week, Alabama had six players named to the watchlists for the Outland and the Bronko Nagurski Awards by the Football Writers Association of America. LaBryan Ray, who is mentioned in both lists, is joined by Patrick Surtain II and Dylan Moses on the Nagurski Trophy watchlist, while Deonte Brown, Landon Dickerson, and Alex Leatherwood are mentioned on the Outland Trophy watchlist.
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy, named after the College Football and NFL Hall of Fame player sharing the same name, is awarded to the best defensive in the player in the nation, as chosen by the Football Writers Association of America. The only Alabama player to win this award was Jonathan Allen in 2016 following a stellar senior season in which Allen had 10.5 sacks and 16 tackles for loss.
A year with production similar to Allen's 2016 season is not out of the picture for a player like LaBryan Ray, who is expected to be returning to his starting role healthy this fall.
Dylan Moses, if he can put up big numbers this season also has a good chance to win the award, but Patrick Surtain II may have a harder time winning as it has been a defensive line and linebacker dominated award the last near 20 years, with the last cornerback winning it being Derrick Strait from Oklahoma all the way back in 2003.
The Outland Trophy, awarded to the Nation's top interior lineman, has seen many Alabama lineman win it starting in 1999 when Chris Samuels took home the trophy, and most recently, in 2018 when Quinnen Williams won the award.
Again, I think LaBryan Ray has another great chance to win this award due to the production he could make from his defensive line spot in Alabama's defense. Of the offensive lineman mentioned, Alex Leatherwood has the best chance to win it in my opinion. Leatherwood was chosen to the All-SEC Coach's team last season and was selected on the All-SEC second team as well. Leatherwood also posted a 99.1% success rate on 752 snaps in his junior season in 2019.
Whether or not the 2020 season happens, it is hard the imagine the any of these players not being in the NFL this time next year, with a few of them being first round talent like Patrick Surtain and Alex Leatherwood. Alabama will surely have some players this season take home some hardware in either individual accolades or championships.