Alabama’s defense tops ever major statistical category in the national rankings. And it entered December with a pile of finalists for all the individual awards that comes with such success.
Still, not one Tide defenders walked home with a trophy.
Linebacker Dont’a Hightower said the team goals came first, but he couldn’t help notice the lack of awards.
“I was pretty upset, I’m not going to lie,” Hightower said. “That happens. But we all got what we wanted Jan. 9, so we’ve got to go out and get it.”
The junior linebacker was a finalist for the Lombardi, Bednarik, Lott and Butkus Awards without a win. Fellow linebacker Courtney Upshaw made most of the same lists, but Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly won all four of the awards.
Hightower can still list the positive experiences he had traveling to Texas for the Lombardi Award ceremony.
“A lot of taking pictures and signing autographs, a lot more than I anticipated or wanted to do,” he said. “But I definitely had fun in Houston. The Texas trip, the hospital, just walking around meeting kids and making those guys feel a little special.”
Alabama wasn’t completely shut out of the awards. Left tackle Barrett Jones won the Outland Trophy and running back Trent Richardson was awarded the Doak Walker Award.