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Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick (RIC TAPIA/AP)

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Former St. Peter’s Prep star Minkah Fitzpatrick named finalist for 2017 Bronko Nagurski Trophy

Former St. Peter’s Prep star among five finalists for nations best defensive player award.

Alabama junior safety Minkah Fitzpatrick was among five finalists for the 2017 Bronko Nagurski Trophy, announced Wednesday by the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club.

Fitzpatrick joins North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb, Iowa middle linebacker Josey Jewell, Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver and Georgia outside linebacker Roquan Smith as finalists for the annual award presented to the nation’s top defensive player.

The Old Bridge, NJ native is the leader of the defensive backfield for the unbeaten Crimson Tide (10-0). So far this season, Fitzpatrick has made 44 total tackles, 5.5 tackles for losses, including 1.5 sacks. He also has intercepted a pass, broken up six passes, hurried the quarterback three times, forced a fumble and blocked a kick.

Fitzpatrick, the 11th Alabama player to be a Nagurski finalist, is a big reason Alabama ranks eighth in the country in fewest passing yards allowed per game.

The Crimson Tide currently rank No. 1 in the nation.

Fitzpatrick was born in New Brunswick, NJ and attended high school at St. Peter’s Prep. Some experts believe he will be a top five pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

The FWAA has chosen a National Defensive Player of the Year since 1993. The Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet, presented by ACN, will be held on Mon., Dec. 4, at the Charlotte Convention Center.

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