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                     LB Sr.-R         Matthews, N.C.
Jeremy Cash                     Duke                     S         Sr.-R         Miami, Fla.
Brandon Chubb             Wake Forest     LB Sr.-R         Powder Springs, Ga.
Kendall Fuller             Virginia Tech     CB Jr.                 Baltimore, Md.
Adam Gotsis                     Georgia Tech     DT Sr.                 Abbotsford, Victoria, Canada
Tylor Harris                     Wake Forest     DT Sr.                 Baton Rouge, La.
Shaq Lawson                     Clemson             DE Jr.                 Central, S.C.
Dadi Nicolas                     Virginia Tech     DE Sr.-R         Delray Beach, Fla.
Jalen Ramsey                     Florida State     DB Jr.                 Smyrna, Tenn.
Sheldon Rankins             Louisville             DE Sr.                 Covington, Ga.
Mike Rose                     NC State             DE Jr.-R                 Fountain Inn, S.C.
Terrance Smith             Florida State     LB Sr.-R         Decatur, Ga.

The ACC members of the 2015 preseason Maxwell Award list are:

Name                             School                     Pos.         Cl.                 Hometown
Tyler Boyd                     Pitt                     WR Jr.                 Clairton, Pa.
Jacoby Brissett             NC State             QB Sr.-R                West Palm Beach, Fla.
James Conner             Pitt                     RB Jr.                 Erie, Pa.
Dalvin Cook                     Florida State     RB So.                 Miami, Fla.
Everett Golson             Florida State     QB Sr.-R                Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Jon Hilliman                     Boston College     RB So.                 Plainfield, N.J.
Brad Kaaya                     Miami                     QB So.                 West Hills, Calif.
Brandon Radcliff             Louisville             RB Jr.-R                 Miami, Fla.
Justin Thomas             Georgia Tech     QB Jr.-R                 Prattville, Ala.
Deshaun Watson             Clemson             QB So.                 Gainesville, Ga.
Marquise Williams           North Carolina      QB Sr.                 Charlotte, N.C.