Seniors Briean Boddy-Calhoun and Eric Murray were named to the 2015 Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List today by the Maxwell Football Club.
The Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995. It is named after Chuck Bednarik, who is a member the College Football Hall of Fame (1969) and the NFL Hall of Fame (1967) after standout careers at Penn and with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Boddy-Calhoun and Murray are two of 80 defensive players named to the pre-season list. Thirteen cornerbacks were recognized, but Boddy-Calhoun and Murray are the only corner teammates who are on the list. The only other Big Ten corner on the list is William Likely from Maryland.
Minnesota joins fellow Big Ten schools Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin in having two players named to the list. Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Tennessee had the most players on the list with three.
Boddy-Calhoun and Murray are the first Gophers named to the preseason Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List since Ra’Shede Hageman, who is now with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, in 2013.
Boddy-Calhoun is a redshirt senior and will captain the Gopher defense this year. He finished last season with 51 tackles, 2.0 tackles-for-loss and five interceptions (tied for third all-time in single-season history). He also broke up nine passes, forced two fumbles and recovered one fumble en route to being named All-Big Ten First Team by the media and All-Big Ten Second Team by conference coaches.
Murray started all 13 games last season and finished fourth on the team with 69 tackles. He tied for second with seven pass breakups, while making one interception and recovering one fumble. He blocked two kicks and was named to the coaches' All-Big Ten Second Team and received All-Big Ten honorable mention from the media.
The Maxwell Football Club is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 22 awards boast over 700 years of tradition-selection excellence.Visit www.NCFAA.org to learn more.
Minnesota has had eight players receive national awards for their play, with Matt Spaeth winning the 2006 John Mackey Award being the most recent. Gopher tight end Maxx Williams was a finalist for the Mackey Award in 2014.
Boddy-Calhoun, Murray On Bednarik Watch List
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