Alabama's Reggie Ragland joins Leonard Floyd (Georgia), Deion Jones (LSU), Raekwon McMillan (Ohio State) and Jaylon Smith (Notre Dame) as the five nominees for this year’s Butkus Award. The honor recognizes linebackers at three levels of competition while helping spread the word about Butkus’ I Play Clean™ initiative which encourages teens to eat well, train hard, and play with attitude instead of resorting to steroids and performance-enhancing drugs.
The captain of the Crimson Tide defense, Ragland has been a force for one of the nation’s top-ranked units. He has captained a Tide defense that ranks second nationally in rushing defense (77.8 ypg) and sits third in both total defense (265 ypg) and scoring defense (14.5 ppg). The senior has a team-leading 85 tackles, including 6.5 for a loss (-23 yards) and 2.5 sacks (-10 yards). He has also recorded five pass breakups, four quarterback hurries and two forced fumbles. Ragland has led the team in tackles in seven of Alabama’s 11 games this season and has helped the Crimson Tide defensive unit limit its last eight opponents to only 11.1 points per game following the early loss to Ole Miss.
Very active off the field in the community, Ragland has dedicated himself to volunteering in Tuscaloosa during his four years at The University of Alabama. He has gone above and beyond what is asked of student-athletes, working more than 50 hours of community service and double-digit volunteer opportunities. He chose to forgo the NFL Draft and returned for his senior season to complete his degree, fulfilling a promise he made to his mother to finish his education while at The University of Alabama. Ragland is scheduled to graduate this December.
Alabama has had three players previously win the Butkus Award, including Derrick Thomas (1988), Rolando McClain (2009) and C.J. Mosley (2013). This year’s winner will be selected by an independent panel of recruiters, scouts, coaches and journalists by Dec. 8.