Four Alabama seniors head the watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award, given annually by the Maxwell Football Club to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995.
Alabama led the way with defensive end Jonathan Allen, inside linebacker Reuben Foster, outside linebacker Tim Williams, and safety Eddie Jackson on the list.
Two semifinalists from 2015, both Southeastern Conference players, are on the watch list. They are Texas A&M junior defensive end Myles Garrett and LSU senior linebacker Kendell Beckwith.
In addition to Alabama with four on the list, Clemson, Florida, LSU, Oklahoma, TCU, and Texas A&M are represented by three candidates each.
Chuck Bednarik, former standout at Penn and with the Philadelphia Eagles, is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame (1969) and the NFL Hall of Fame (1967).
2015 Bednarik Award winner Tyler Matakevich of Temple has also moved on to the professional ranks and is now a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The members of the NCFAA are unveiling their preseason watch lists over a 12-day period this month. Seventeen of the association’s 22 awards select a preseason watch list and the NCFAA has spearheaded a coordinated effort to promote each award’s preseason candidates.
Semifinalists for the Bednarik Award will be announced Oct. 31, while the three finalists will be unveiled Nov. 21. The winner will be announced as part of the College Football Awards Show Dec. 8. The formal presentations of these awards will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala on March 10, 2017.