Atlantic Coast Conference Places 14 Players on Preseason Bednarik Watch List; 11 on Maxwell Watch List
Total of 25 Honorees Ties for Second-Highest Among All Conferences
GREENSBORO, N.C.—A total of 14 Atlantic Coast Conference defensive players have been selected to the preseason watch list for the Bednarik Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top defensive player, while 11 ACC players have been chosen to the preseason watch list for the Maxwell Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top collegiate player.
Both awards are presented by the Maxwell Club which announced its watch lists for the 79th annual Maxwell Award and the 21st annual Chuck Bednarik Award.
The Maxwell Award, named in honor of Robert W. "Tiny" Maxwell, has been given to America's College Player of the Year since 1937. Maxwell's contributions to the game of football were extensive, including time as a player, a sportswriter and an official. The Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995. Chuck Bednarik, former standout at Penn and with the Philadelphia Eagles, 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.
Pitt’s Aaron Donald was the last ACC player to capture the Bednarik Award, as the Panthers former defensive defensive tackle took the honor in 2013. Florida State quarterback Charlie Ward was the last ACC player to win the Maxwell in 1993, though Miami’s Ken Dorsey took home the honor in 2001.
Six ACC quarterbacks made the Maxwell list, including Deshaun Watson of Clemson, Justin Thomas of Georgia Tech, Brad Kaaya of Miami, Marquise Williams of North Carolina, Jacoby Brissett of NC State and former Notre Dame starter Everett Golson who transferred to Florida State after graduating.
Five ACC defensive backs who will be competing for the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back also made the preseason Bednarik list in Mackensie Alexander of Clemson, Jeremy Cash of Duke, Jalen Ramsey of Florida State, Quin Blanding of Virginia and Kendall Fuller of Virginia Tech.
The ACC Members of the 2015 preseason Bednarik watch list are:
Name School Pos. Cl. Hometown
Mackensie Alexander Clemson CB So.-R Immokalee, Fla.
Quin Blanding Virginia S So. Virginia Beach, Va.
Kelby Brown Duke LBSr.-R Matthews, N.C.
Jeremy Cash Duke S Sr.-R Miami, Fla.
Brandon Chubb Wake Forest LBSr.-R Powder Springs, Ga.
Kendall Fuller Virginia Tech CBJr. Baltimore, Md.
Adam Gotsis Georgia Tech DTSr. Abbotsford, Victoria, Canada
Tylor Harris Wake Forest DTSr. Baton Rouge, La.
Shaq Lawson Clemson DEJr. Central, S.C.
Dadi Nicolas Virginia Tech DESr.-R Delray Beach, Fla.
Jalen Ramsey Florida State DBJr. Smyrna, Tenn.
Sheldon Rankins Louisville DESr. Covington, Ga.
Mike Rose NC State DEJr.-R Fountain Inn, S.C.
Terrance Smith Florida State LBSr.-R Decatur, Ga.
The ACC members of the 2015 preseason Maxwell Award list are:
Name School Pos. Cl. Hometown
Tyler Boyd Pitt WRJr. Clairton, Pa.
Jacoby Brissett NC State QBSr.-R West Palm Beach, Fla.
James Conner Pitt RBJr. Erie, Pa.
Dalvin Cook Florida State RBSo. Miami, Fla.
Everett Golson Florida State QBSr.-R Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Jon Hilliman Boston College RBSo. Plainfield, N.J.
Brad Kaaya Miami QBSo. West Hills, Calif.
Brandon Radcliff Louisville RBJr.-R Miami, Fla.
Justin Thomas Georgia Tech QBJr.-R Prattville, Ala.
Deshaun Watson Clemson QBSo. Gainesville, Ga.
Marquise Williams North Carolina QBSr. Charlotte, N.C.