On Monday, the finalists for the 2017 College Football Awards were revealed. Two SEC standouts are vying for Defensive Player of the Year honors. Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick and Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Roquan Smith were named as two of the three finalists for the Chuck Bednarik Award.
Fitzpatrick and Smith have been stellar for Alabama and Georgia, proving to be impactful and integral for each of their team’s successes this season.
Minkah has 44 total tackles this season, 5.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks, one INT and five PD along with a forced fumble. Smith, meanwhile, has 91 total tackles, 5.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks, two PD and a forced fumble, too.
The other finalist is N.C. State Wolfpack edge rusher Bradley Chubb. Chubb has 66 tackles, 10.0 sacks, 22 TFL, two PD and one forced fumble this season.
If Minkah were to win the Bednarik Award, he would be the second straight player from Alabama to win after Jonathan Allen took home the honors last year. If Roquan won the Bednarik Award, he would become the first Bulldog since linebacker David Pollack won the award in 2004.