Alabama returns a roster stocked with playmakers for 2015, despite losing quality players to the National Football League.
The committees for the Chuck Bednarik and Maxwell Award foundations have compiled a list a players in the Southeastern Conference to watch in 2015. According to Aaron Suttles of Tuscaloosa News, Alabama's Reggie Ragland, A'Shawn Robinson and Derrick Henry all have been named to award watch list this week.
Reggie Ragland: Ragland, who will represent Alabama at SEC Media Days, was named to the Chuck Bednarik Award watch list. The award is presented the best college defensive player of the year.
Ragland was solid for the Crimson Tide last season, totaling 95 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, three pass breakups, three fumble recoveries, a forced fumble, a quarterback hurry and an interception in 14 games. He's made a transition from outside to inside linebacker for 2015.
A'Shawn Robinson: Robinson is a preseason first-team All-and first-team All-SEC, according to college football writer Phil Steele. He put in 49 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, three pass breakups, four quarterback hurries, a forced fumble and a blocked kick in 14 games last season.
Robinson, like Ragland, was named to the Chuck Bednarik Award watch list.
Derrick Henry: Henry saw two running backs come off the board in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, Todd Gurley (Georgia) and Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin,) and then saw his former teammate, T.J. Yeldon selected early in the 2nd Round. A solid performance this fall gives Henry an opportunity to pursue an NFL career, and certainly the motivation. Henry recorded 990 rushing yards with 11 touchdowns on 5.8 yards per carry in 2014, and led the Tide in rushing. He has been named to the Maxwell Award watch list.
Stephen M. Smith is a staff writer and columnist for Touchdown Alabama Magazine, Pick Six Previews and SB Nation. You can "like" him on Facebook or "follow" him on Twitter, via @ESPN_Future.