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Clemson Places Three on Bednarik Award Watch List

Clemson Places Three on Bednarik Award Watch List

The Maxwell Football Club announced today that linebacker Barrett Carter, defensive tackle Tyler Davis and linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr. have been named as three of 85 candidates on the watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award, presented annually to the nation’s most outstanding defensive player. Clemson and Penn State are the only programs in the nation to feature three members on the watch list in 2023. 

Additional information from the Maxwell Football Club is included below. Visit the 2023 Preseason Honors hub for more preseason accolades garnered by Clemson.

The Maxwell Football Club today announced its watch list for the 29th Chuck Bednarik Award presented annually to the outstanding defensive player in college football.

The Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1994 and is named in honor of Chuck “Concrete Charlie” Bednarik who was an All-American player at the University of Pennsylvania and later a multiple year All Pro linebacker and center for the Philadelphia Eagles. He is a member of both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame and was the last NFL player to be a full-time player on both offense and defense.

The Bednarik Award watch list will once again incorporate a broad spectrum of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) programs and conferences from coast to coast, led by 5 returning 2022 semifinalists: Kool-Aid McKinstry (Alabama), Tyler Davis (Clemson), Jer’Zhan Newton (Illinois), Tommy Eichenberg (Ohio State) and Jason Henderson (Old Dominion). Clemson and Penn State lead the way with 3 candidates each with an additional 9 schools boasting 2 candidates.

Last year’s Chuck Bednarik Award winner was Will Anderson Jr. (Alabama) who went on to be the 1st round selection of the Houston Texans in the 2023 NFL Draft. Anderson joined Alabama greats Jonathan Allen (2016) and Minkah Fitzpatrick (2017) as the third Crimson Tide player to win the award.

S Trey Taylor, Air Force
CB Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama
LB Dallas Turner, Alabama
LB Leo Lowin, Army
CB D.J. James, Auburn
LB DJ Schramm, Boise State
DE Donovan Ezeiruaku, Boston College
LB Shaun Dolac, Buffalo
LB Ben Bywater, BYU
LB Jackson Sirmon, Cal
DT Dontay Corleone, Cincinnati
DT Tyler Davis, Clemson
LB Jeremiah Trotter Jr., Clemson
LB Barrett Carter, Clemson
S Jack Howell, Colorado State
LB Jackson Mitchell, Connecticut
DT DeWayne Carter, Duke
DE Princely Umanmielen, Florida
DE Jared Verse, Florida State
LB Levelle Bailey, Fresno State
DB Javon Bullard, Georgia
LB Jamon Dumas-Johnson, Georgia
S LaMiles Brooks, Georgia Tech
DL Jer’Zhan Newton, Illinois
DL Keith Randolph, Illinois
DL Andre Carter, Indiana
CB Cooper DeJean, Iowa
CB T.J. Tampa, Iowa State
CB Cobee Bryant, Kansas
S Kobe Savage, Kansas State
LB J.J. Weaver, Kentucky
LB Harold Perkins, LSU
DE Owen Porter, Marshall
LB Jaishawn Barham, Maryland
DT Leonard Taylor, Miami
S Kamren Kinchens, Miami
DT Kris Jenkins, Michigan
LB Junior Colson, Michigan
LB Cal Haladay, Michigan State
S Tyler Nubin, Minnesota
LB Nathaniel Watson, Mississippi State
LB Ty’Ron Hopper, Missouri
CB Aydan White, NC State
LB Payton Wilson, NC State
LB Cedric Gray, North Carolina
CB Benjamin Morrison, Notre Dame
DE JT Tuimoloau, Ohio State
LB Tommy Eichenberg, Ohio State
DE Ethan Downs, Oklahoma
LB Collin Oliver, Oklahoma State
LB Jason Henderson, Old Dominion
DE Cedric Johnson, Ole Miss
DE Brandon Dorlus, Oregon
S Kitan Oladapo, Oregon State
CB Kalen King, Penn State
DE Chop Robinson, Penn State
LB Abdul Carter, Penn State
CB M.J. Devonshire, Pitt
DE Aaron Lewis, Rutgers
S Yam Banks, South Alabama
S Jay Stanley, Southern Miss
LB David Bailey, Stanford
LB Marlowe Wax, Syracuse
CB Josh Newton, TCU
LB Layton Jordan, Temple
LB Aaron Beasley, Tennessee
LB Jaylan Ford, Texas
DT Jaylon Hutchings, Texas Tech
CB Quinyon Mitchell, Toledo
CB Reddy Steward, Troy
CB Jarius Monroe, Tulane
DT Patrick Jenkins, Tulane
DT Fish McWilliams, UAB
LB Jason Johnson, UCF
LB Laiatu Latu, UCLA
S Calen Bullock, USC
S Cole Bishop, Utah
LB Tyrice Knight, UTEP
S Rashad Wisdom, UTSA
DE Chico Bennett, Virginia
DE Bralen Trice, Washington
S Aubrey Burks, West Virginia
LB JaQues Evans, Western Kentucky
LB Maema Njongmeta, Wisconsin
LB Easton Gibbs, Wyoming

The Chuck Bednarik Award has once again partnered with Pro Football Focus (PFF) and Phil Steele Publications as selection committee partners. PFF provides detailed metrics and performance-based assessments to selection committee staff, with several senior PFF analysts are members of our selection committee. Phil Steele’s College Football Preview is generally recognized as the most complete preseason magazine.

Semifinalists for the Chuck Bednarik Award will be announced November 13, 2023, while the three finalists for the Bednarik Award will be unveiled November 28, 2023. The winners of the 29th Chuck Bednarik Award will be announced as part of the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on December 7, 2023. The formal presentations of the Chuck Bednarik Award will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards in March 2024.

Questions concerning the 2023 Bednarik Award watch list can be directed to MFC Executive Director Mark Wolpert or MFC Vice President of College Awards Rich Cirminiello

ABOUT THE MAXWELL FOOTBALL CLUB – The Maxwell Football Club was founded in 1935 and is the oldest football organization of its kind in America. The Club recognizes excellence in performance at the high school, collegiate and professional levels of the game. The Maxwell Club is also deeply involved and fully vested in the community through programs to promote academic excellence, community volunteerism, and leadership. High school student-athletes around the country have an opportunity to participate in MFC Showcase events, free of charge, through the generosity of our corporate partners, Montage Mountain Resorts, the Buccini Polin Group, the ETC Foundation and the Run Around Inc. To learn more about our story visit

ABOUT PRO FOOTBALL FOCUS – PFF is widely recognized as the industry leader in the advanced data collection and analysis for American football. Since 2011, PFF has led football’s charge into the world of analytics. Their services are trusted by all 32 NFL teams and over 100 FBS programs. Major broadcast networks, national media outlets and player agencies all use PFF as a resource as well. PFF’s media network provides fans with apps, tools, podcasts and other content to help satisfy their thirst for deeper insights in the game.

The Chuck Bednarik Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses college football’s most prestigious awards. The NCFAA’s 24 awards have honored more than 900 recipients since 1935. This season, 12 NCFAA awards will honor national players of the week each Tuesday.

Sixteen NCFAA members are unveiling preseason watch lists over a two-week period as the association spearheads a coordinated effort to promote each award’s preseason candidates. Following is the remaining 2023 preseason watch list calendar:

Mon., July 31: Maxwell Award
Tue., Aug. 1: Outland Trophy/Bronko Nagurski Trophy
Wed., Aug. 2: Lou Groza Award/Ray Guy Award
Thu., Aug. 3: Paul Hornung Award/Wuerffel Trophy
Fri., Aug. 4: Mackey Award/Rimington Trophy

Mon., Aug. 7: Biletnikoff Award
Tue., Aug. 8: Davey O’Brien Award
Wed., Aug. 9: Doak Walker Award
Thu., Aug. 10: Butkus Award/Paycom Jim Thorpe Award
Fri., Aug. 11: Walter Camp Award

Mon., Aug. 14: Bednarik Award

For more information about the NCFAA and its college football awards, visit the redesigned or follow on Twitter @NCFAA.