Yesterday, Oregon’s Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and Alabama’s C.J. Mosley were named as repeat semifinalists for national awards at their respective positions. Now, the talented duo are up for an award given annually to the best defensive player regardless of position.
The Bednarik Award announced Tuesday morning that a total of 16 players have made the cut as 2013 semifinalists. As was the case with the Butkus Award, Mosley is the only semifinalist who was in this group last year as 13 of the other honorees headed to the NFL.
One of the two remaining players among the 16 2012 semifinalists not on this year’s list? South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who was not only a semifinalist for the 2012 Bednarik but was a finalist for the award that went to Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o. The other 2012 semifinalist who failed to repeat the feat this year is Arizona State’s Will Sutton.
Unlike the Maxwell Award announced earlier today, the Bednarik is dominated by seniors as 12 of the 16 semifinalists come from that class. USC defensive end Leonard Williams is the only sophomore.
Seven linebackers, six defensive linemen (four ends, two tackles) and three cornerbacks make up the semifinalists positionally.
The ACC and Pac-12 had five and four players, respectively, included in the release. The Big Ten and SEC with two apiece were the only other conferences with more than one player. While there were no individual teams with more than one Bednarik semifinalist, there were five that had players on both the Bednarik and Maxwell lists: Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Oregon and Wisconsin.
Both of those awards are handed out annually by the Maxwell Football Club.