Alabama football’s Anfernee Jennings was one of three Alabama football players who have been named to the 2019 Dick Butkus Award Watch List announced Monday by the Butkus Foundation. Terrell Lewis and Dylan Moses were also named to the list.
Jennings, Lewis and Moses are among 51 candidates from around the country named to the preseason list for the Butkus, which is given to the nation’s top linebacker. Four Crimson Tide players have won the award previously with Reuben Foster taking home the hardware most recently in 2016. Joining Foster on the list of Alabama linebackers to capture the honors are C.J. Mosley (2013), Rolando McClain (2009) and Derrick Thomas (1988).
One of the leaders on the Alabama defense, Jennings provides the Crimson Tide with a veteran presence in the linebacker group. He has seen time in 41 career games with 24 starts to his name, accumulating 111 tackles, including 22 for a loss (-74 yards) to go with 7.5 sacks (-37 yards). Jennings put together a standout season in 2018, recording a team-high 11 pass breakups to go with his 51 tackles. He also added 14 tackles for loss (-40 yards) and 6.5 sacks (-30 yards) along with a pair of fumble recoveries, one of which he returned for a touchdown.
After missing last season due to injury, Lewis returns for his redshirt junior campaign back at full strength. One of the top passing rushing threats in the nation, he has appeared in 15 games during his career with one start. Lewis has totaled 27 tackles, including three for loss (-26 yards) and two sacks (-22 yards), to go with one pass breakup. His most impressive performance came in the College Football Playoff National Championship against Georgia when he finished with a career-best seven tackles, including a pivotal sack in overtime to force the Bulldogs into a field goal.
One of the nation’s top-rated linebackers and defensive players overall, Moses comes into the 2019 season with high expectations once again. A second team All-American and finalist for the Butkus Award a season ago, he returns a veteran presence over the middle with big play ability. Moses led the Crimson Tide with 86 tackles in 2018 and had 10 for loss (-41 yards) to go with 3.5 sacks (-29 yards), a pass breakup, one forced fumble and a quarterback pressure as a sophomore. He has impressed since arriving on campus, putting together an SEC All-Freshman performance in 2017 after playing in 11 games with two starts.
The Butkus Award has been presented annually since 1985 by the Butkus Foundation to recognize the top linebacker in college football. The award is named in honor of college and NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus. The 2019 winner will be announced at the conclusion of the regular season and recognized at the annual ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show in December.