Since Oct. 3, the day Alabama rolled into Athens and completed dismantled a Georgia team that at the time was healthy and red hot, the Crimson Tide defense has been one of the most dominant units in recent memory.

This season, Alabama has allowed just 14.4 points per game, scored 69 points off turnovers and allowed the opposition to rush for just 74 yards per game. It seemed like each week the Tide would face one of the nation’s top running backs and each time it would shut him down.

But by the time all the major awards have been handed out, it seems likely Alabama players will be underrepresented. There’s no true superstar, and standouts from last season have been pushed by newcomers this year, but it’s one of the most balanced and deep defenses Nick Saban has coached. That makes ranking the Top 5 Alabama defensive players a fairly difficult chore, but we’ve decided to give it a shot.

1.Reggie Ragland, Sr. Linebacker — In an era in which sports are viewed more analytically than ever and intangibles are often dismissed, Ragland meets both standards. The senior came back for a final season in Tuscaloosa instead of jumping to the NFL and has played a huge role in getting the Tide back to the SEC championship and the College Football Playoff. Ragland’s leadership skills are unmatched, but he also leads the team with 90 tackles, 30 more than anyone else. He also has 2.5 sacks, broken up six passes and forced two fumbles. There are linebackers in the SEC with flashier stats, but nobody has done so much for a defense that’s been absolutely dominant.

2. Eddie Jackson, Jr. Defensive Back — Jackson wasn’t the most acclaimed member of the Alabama secondary heading into the season, but he quickly became the most dynamic with five interceptions he’s returned for a total of 230 yards and two touchdowns. He’s been ballhawk in coverage, but also ranks seventh on the team with 40 tackles. He’s got three tackles for a loss, has forced two fumbles and recovered one, which means he’s owned the famed championship belt for forcing turnovers more than any other member of the defense. That’s been a huge focus for the Tide since spring and Jackson has responded.

3. Jonathan Allen, Jr. Defensive Lineman — The Tide often made opposing offenses go backwards and Allen was the main culprit. The Virginia product led the team with 12.5 tackles for a loss and 10 sacks. When Allen was in the mix, it was often a huge play for Alabama. In fact, nearly a third of his tackles this season were sacks and his tackles for a loss added up to 77 negative yards for the opposition. He also broke up four passes and forced a pair of fumbles.

4. Minkah Fitzpatrick, Fr. Defensive Back — Perhaps he’s hit a bit of a freshman wall as his production has slipped a bit in recent weeks, but taking his season as a whole there’s no denying the impact the true freshman from New Jersey has made. Fitzpatrick has 41 tackles, the most of any Alabama defensive back, and also was a big-play machine early in the season with two sacks, two interceptions, 10 passes defended and a blocked punt for a touchdown. His ability to play all over the field and excel at the nickel back position has provided a boost and made Bama that much more difficult to figure out.

5. A’Shawn Robinson, Jr. Defensive Lineman — Ranking the Tide’s defensive linemen, who head up the best rush defense in the nation, is especially difficult. But Robinson is certainly deserving of making the list. The Texan has 42 tackles, including 7.5 for a loss and 3.5 sacks. He’s also knocked down a pair of passes and hurried the quarterback nine times. He’s also blocked a kick and recovered a fumble.