Alabama linebacker Christian Harris was named one of 16 semifinalists for the Butkus Award, given annually to the nation's top linebacker, announced by the Butkus Foundation on Monday. Harris is one of three semifinalists from the Southeastern Conference. Four Alabama linebackers have claimed the honor in the past, Derrick Thomas (1988), Rolando McClain (2009), CJ Mosely (2013) and Reuben Foster (2016).

On the season, Harris has tallied 42 tackles, including 5.5 for loss. He also added 1.5 sacks, one quarterback hurry and one pass breakup. Harris has been recognized as one of the defensive players of the week by the Alabama coaching staff for his play against Mercer and Southern Miss. The Crimson Tide currently rank fourth in the country in rushing defense and 13th in total defense.

In his latest big board, ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper, Jr., ranked Harris as his No. 3 inside linebacker for the 2022 NFL draft. The Baton Rouge, LA native could be the fourth inside linebacker drafted in the first round of the Nick Saban era.

The finalists for the Butkus Award will be announced on Monday, Nov. 22 and the winner on Tuesday, Dec. 7 through a surprise event on their campus.

The Crimson Tide returns to action on Saturday, Nov. 6 when it takes on the LSU Tigers. ESPN will televise the event at 6 p.m. CST.

The Alabama Crimson Tide 2021 Defense

The Alabama Crimson Tide led the SEC in scoring defense in 2020 holding opponents to 19.4 points per game. The Tide is expected to be even stronger on defense this fall, returning several starters from last year and an impactful transfer.

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