The latest in the parade of preseason watch lists to be released over the next week and a half is the Bednarik Award, given annually to the nation’s top defensive player since 1995.
And, as could be expected, two of the top defenses in the country last season are well represented on this year’s preseason watch list. Both Alabama and LSU, which squared off in the BcS title game following the end of the 2011 regular season, placed four players apiece on this year’s list.
Michigan State also placed four players on the list, the only other school to do so.
Four semifinalists for last year’s award also made the initial cut this year – Kansas State LB Arthur Brown, LSU CB Tyrann Mathieu, Notre Dame LB Manti Te’o and Stanford LB Chase Thomas. Mathieu was named the winner of the 2011 Bednarik last December.
A total of 66 players are on this year’s watch list, including just two sophomores (South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and USC linebacker Dion Bailey).
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