Williams and Lawson led the nation's top-rated defense in sacks last season, with Lawson tallying seven and Williams six. The two combined for 27 tackles for loss and 107 total tackles. Williams, who is also on the watch list for the Lombardi Award, was a first-team All-ACC performer last season, while Lawson won second-team honors.
Ten semi-finalists for the award will be named in October and the field will be narrowed to three finalists in November. The winners will be announced at the Home Depot College Football Awards Show in December.