Alabama senior linebacker Reuben Foster is the recipient of the 2016 Butkus Award, presented annually to the nation's top collegiate linebacker.

Foster was presented the award Sunday evening by the award's namesake, Dick Butkus, during the Alabama Football Team Banquet at the Birmingham Sheraton. Foster is fourth Crimson Tide player to win the award, joining Derrick Thomas (1988), Rolando McClain (2009) and C.J. Mosley (2013).

The signal-caller of the Crimson Tide linebacking corps, Foster has put together an impressive senior campaign, helping to lead an Alabama defense that tops the nation in total defense, rushing defense, scoring defense and defensive touchdowns. He has collected a team-high 94 tackles while adding 12.0 tackles for loss (-56 yards) and four sacks (-33 yards). The Auburn, Ala., native has totaled eight quarterback hurries and a pair of pass breakups for the season.

Foster was chosen for the award over fellow finalists Kendall Beckwith (LSU), Zach Cunningham (Vanderbilt), Jarrad Davis (Florida) and Josey Jewell (Iowa).

The award 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.

Considered one of the greatest football players in history, Dick Butkus was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979, following an illustrious career with the Chicago Bears, University of Illinois and Chicago Vocational School.



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