Alabama’s Minkah Fitzpatrick claims Bednarik Award as top defender, Thorpe as best DB

Alabama's Minkah Fitzpatrick poses with the Jim Thorpe Award for most outstanding defensive back during the College Football Awards show at the College Football Hall of Fame, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)

ATLANTA, Ga (AP) – Alabama strong safety Minkah Fitzpatrick won the Bednarik as the nation’s top defensive player Thursday night.

Also the winner of the Jim Thorpe Award as the top defensive back, he followed up his All-America season in 2016 with 52 tackles, seven pass breakups, three quarterback hurries, an interception, a forced fumble and blocked field goal.

Fitzpatrick is the centerpiece of a defense that is allowing a nation-low 11.5 points a game and is second in total defense.

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