Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick was already having a solid Thursday night at the ESPN College Football Awards Show — and then it culminated with him being named the National Defensive Player of the Year.
Fitzpatrick beat out Georgia’s Roquan Smith and NC State’s Bradley Chubb for the Chuck Bednarik Award, a report from AL.com pointed out.
The Bednarik Award is handed out annually to the nation’s No. 1 defender.
Earlier on Thursday, Fitzpatrick secured the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back.
“Honestly, I don’t think it’s hit me yet,” Fitzpatrick reportedly said after stepping off the stage with the Bednarik Award. “My mind is elsewhere thinking about Clemson and getting back to my team.”
Fitzpatrick joined a former teammate as the Crimson Tide’s back-to-back recipients of the elite award. Last year, standout Alabama defensive end Jonathan Allen won it.
Fitzpatrick is one of only three players to win both the Thorpe and Bednarik awards — joining Charles Woodson and Patrick Peterson — the AL.com report noted.
“I didn’t think I was going to win this award,” Fitzpatrick said. “I was against some really great competition. When I heard my name called, I was kind of in shock. I’m just really happy right now.”
What a night for Fitzpatrick.
Minkah Fitzpatrick named national defensive player of the year. https://t.co/iUihsHhpOr
— Michael Casagrande (@ByCasagrande) December 8, 2017
Source: Saturday Down South