Clemson linebacker Jamie Skalski makes the preseason watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award, presented each year by the Maxwell Football Club of Philadelphia to the outstanding defensive player in college football.
Skalski was second on the Tigers with 105 tackles last season, just two stops beyond NFL first rounder Isaiah Simmons. He added 7.5 tackles for loss.
The Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995 and is named in honor of Chuck Bednarik a former standout at the University of Pennsylvania and with the Philadelphia Eagles. Bednarik is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame’s Class of ’69 and the NFL Hall of Fame’s Class of ’67.
The Bednarik Award watch list will once again incorporate a broad spectrum of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) programs and conferences from coast to coast, and will feature fresh faces, as 2019 winner Chase Young (Ohio State) and finalists Derrick Brown (Auburn) and Isaiah Simmons (Clemson) have all moved on to the NFL. The list features 3 returning semifinalists from 2019 including Derek Stingley (LSU), Micah Parsons (Penn State) and Marvin Wilson (Florida State). LSU, Pittsburgh and USC lead the way with 3 candidates each and 17 other schools boast 2 candidates.
Young became the first Buckeye to ever win the award before being chosen with the 2nd overall pick by the Washington Redskins.
The members of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) are unveiling their preseason watch lists over a 12-day period this month. Seventeen of the association’s 25 awards select a preseason watch list and the NCFAA has spearheaded a coordinated effort to promote each award’s preseason candidates.
Following is the entire 2020 preseason watch list calendar:
Monday July 13: Chuck Bednarik Award
Tuesday July 14: Davey O’Brien Award
Wednesday July 15: Doak Walker Award
Thursday July 16: Biletnikoff Award
Friday July 17: Mackey Award
Monday July 20: Jim Thorpe Award
Tuesday July 21: Outland Trophy & Nagurski Award
Wednesday July 22: Groza Award & Ray Guy Award
Thursday July 23: Hornung Award & Wuerffel Trophy
Friday July 24: Maxwell Award
Semifinalists for the Bednarik Award will be announced November 3, 2020, while the three finalists for the Bednarik Award will be unveiled November 23, 2020. The winner of the 2020 Bednarik Awards will be announced as part of the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on December 10, 2020. The formal presentations of these awards will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Tropicana Hotel & Casino Atlantic City on March 12, 2021.