Alabama LB Reuben Foster named 2016 Butkus Award winner

One day after being named SEC Championship Game MVP, Alabama senior linebacker Reuben Foster was recognized as the nation's top linebacker.

The Crimson Tide's leading tackler was named the 2016 Butkus Award, which is annually presented to the nation's best linebacker at the college level.

"Reuben Foster is a complete linebacker with the instincts, closing burst, explosion and on-field leadership traits that set the tone for the nation’s top defense," the Butkus Award selection committee said in a release. "He is a fearless striker who plays the game with intensity and passion. The way he uncoils on contact and the way his teammates gravitate toward him are both reminiscent of Mr. Butkus. After finishing second to Jaylon Smith in the high school balloting four years ago, Foster distinguished himself in this year’s collegiate class."

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Through 13 games, Foster has recorded 94 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, eight quarterback hurries, four sacks and two pass breakups in the middle of Alabama's defense.

Foster received 77 points in the Butkus Award voting, becoming the fourth Butkus Award winner from Alabama, matching Oklahoma. Past Alabama winners were C.J. Mosley in 2013, Rolando McClain in 2009 and the late Derrick Thomas in 1988, who joined Dick Butkus in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The bronze trophy was presented in-person by its namesake Butkus and his son Matt as a surprise at the team banquet in Birmingham, per the Butkus Award.

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