Martinez, Amukamara Semifinalists for Awards

Nebraska senior cornerback Prince Amukamara and redshirt freshman quarterback Taylor Martinez have each been named a semifinalist for a major national award, as announced on Monday.

Amukamara is one of 16 semifinalists for the 16th Chuck Bednarik Award for the Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year, while Martinez is among 16 semifinalists for the 74th Maxwell Trophy for the Collegiate Player of the Year. Both awards are selected by the Maxwell Football Club. Ndamukong Suh was the recipient of the Bednarik Award last season. 

Taylor Martinez

The 6-1, 200-pound Amukamara is among the national leaders with 10 pass breakups, leading a Nebraska defense that ranks fourth nationally in pass efficiency defense and sixth in passing yards allowed. Amukamara was also recently named one of 10 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award for the nation's top defensive back. Amukamara was one of two Big 12 defensive players on the list along with Texas defensive end Sam Acho. 

Martinez was the only freshman among the 16 semifinalists for the Maxwell Award. The 6-1, 205-pounder has gained 886 rushing yards and has 12 rushing touchdowns despite missing the past 1 ½ games because of injury. He has also thrown for 1,161 yards and nine touchdowns against just three interceptions.  

Martinez is third nationally among quarterbacks in rushing yards per game, and is within striking distance of the NCAA record for rushing yards by a freshman quarterback. He is one of five Big 12 players on the Maxwell semifinalist list, joining Justin Blackmon and Kendall Hunter of Oklahoma State, Robert Griffin III of Baylor and Ryan Broyles of Oklahoma. 

Three finalists for both of the awards will be announced on Monday, Nov. 22.

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