The Maxwell Football Club today announced its watch list for the 18th annual Bednarik Award.
The Bednarik Award has been presented to the nation's top defensive player since 1995. A former standout at Penn and with the Philadelphia Eagles, Chuck Bednarik is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame's Class of '69 and the NFL Hall of Fame's Class of '67.
The watch list will once again incorporate a broad spectrum of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) programs and conferences from coast to coast.
The Bednarik Award watch list features four of last season's semifinalists as well, Kansas State LB Arthur Brown, LSU CB Tyrann Mathieu, Notre Dame LB Manti Te'o and Stanford LB Chase Thomas. It's no coincidence that both of last year's National Championship Game participants, Alabama and LSU, boast four defensive players on this year's watch list. Only Michigan State was able to match the Crimson Tide's and Tigers' total.
The latest Bednarik Award winner, Mathieu, on the other hand, joins Penn State's Paul Posluszny and Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald as the only recipients in award history to return to school with a chance to defend his title.
Semifinalists for the Bednarik Award will be announced October 29, and the three finalists for the award will be unveiled November 19. The winner of the Bednarik Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show held on December 6. The formal presentation of these award will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Harrah's Entertainment Atlantic City on March 1, 2013.
The watch list candidates have been chosen by the Maxwell Football Club's selection committee, evaluating past performance and future potential. The Club reserves the right to make additions and deletions to these lists as the 2012 season unfolds. All members of the Maxwell Football Club, NCAA sports information directors, head coaches and selected national media are eligible to vote for the awards.
The Bednarik Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game's predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients. For more information, visit the association's official website at NCFAA.org.
The members of the NCFAA are unveiling their preseason watch lists over a 12-day period this month. Fifteen of the association's 21 awards select a preseason watch list, and this is just the second time the NCFAA has spearheaded a coordinated effort to promote each award's preseason candidates.
Nico Johnson Alabama LB Sr.
Robert Lester Alabama CB Sr.
C.J. Mosley Alabama LB Jr.
Jesse Williams Alabama DT Sr.
Trevardo Williams Connecticut DE Sr.
Sharrif Floyd Florida DT Jr.
Brandon Jenkins Florida State DE Sr.
Lamarcus Joyner Florida State S Jr.
Xavier Rhodes Florida State CB Jr.
Jonathan Jenkins Georgia DT Sr.
Jarvis Jones Georgia LB Jr.
Jonathan Brown Illinois LB Jr.
Michael Buchanan Illinois CB Sr.
Micah Hyde Iowa CB Sr.
James Morris Iowa LB Jr.
A.J. Klein Iowa State LB Sr.
Jake Knott Iowa State LB Sr.
Arthur Brown Kansas State LB Sr.
Nigel Malone Kansas State CB Sr.
Tyrann Mathieu LSU CB Jr.
Barkevious Mingo LSU DE Jr.
Sam Montgomery LSU DE Jr.
Eric Reid LSU S Jr.
Joe Vellano Maryland DT Sr.
Ray-Ray Armstrong Miami CB Sr.
Johnny Adams Michigan State CB Sr.
Denicos Allen Michigan State LB Jr.
Max Bullough Michigan State LB Jr.
William Gholston Michigan State DE Jr.
Jonathan Banks Mississippi State CB Sr.
David Amerson NC State CB Jr.
Kevin Reddick North Carolina LB Sr.
Manti Te’o Notre Dame LB Sr.
Johnathan Hankins Ohio State DT Jr.
John Simon Ohio State DE Sr.
Demontre Hurst Oklahoma CB Sr.
Tony Jefferson Oklahoma S Jr.
Brodrick Brown Oklahoma State CB Sr.
John Boyett Oregon S Sr.
Dion Jordan Oregon DE Sr.
Jordan Poyer Oregon State CB Sr.
Gerald Hodges Penn State LB Sr.
Aaron Donald Pittsburgh DT Jr.
Ricardo Allen Purdue CB Jr.
Kawann Short Purdue DT Sr.
Khaseem Greene Rutgers LB Sr.
Logan Ryan Rutgers CB Sr.
Jadeveon Clowney South Carolina DE Soph.
Devin Taylor South Carolina DE Sr.
Jamie Collins Southern Mississippi DE Sr.
Shayne Skov Stanford LB Sr.
Chase Thomas Stanford LB Sr.
Stansly Maponga TCU DE Jr.
Jackson Jeffcoat Texas DE Jr.
Alex Okafor Texas DE Sr.
Kenny Vaccaro Texas S Sr.
Sean Porter Texas A&M LB Sr.
Dion Bailey USC LB Soph.
T.J. McDonald USC S Sr.
Nickell Robey USC CB Jr.
Star Lotulelei Utah DT Sr.
Kyle Fuller Virginia Tech CB Jr.
James Gayle Virginia Tech DE Jr.
Bruce Taylor Virginia Tech LB Sr.
Chris Borland Wisconsin LB Jr.