In addition to the Maxwell Award, the Maxwell Football Club gives out another piece of hardware every December: the Chuck Bednarik Award, which is awarded to the nation’s best defensive player.
USC has two representatives on the 2013 Bednarik Watch List: Morgan Breslin, and Leonard Williams. Also making the list is Jadeveon Clowney out of South Carolina and Arizona State’s Will Sutton.
Breslin was named to the 2012 Bednarik Watch List, with Breslin getting the nod despite never playing a down of NCAA football. The junior college transfer had a breakout year in 2012, as the Pac-12′s co-leader in sacks with 13. Williams was the Pac-12′s Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2013, while tallying 13.5 tackles for loss last year, second to Breslin’s team-high 19.5.
The Bednarik Award was first awarded in 1995, with current Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald winning the first two in ’95 and ’96. USC has one winner to date, linebacker Rey Maualuga, who won the award in 2008. Penn State leads all schools with four winners, all linebackers, including Paul Posluszny, who was the second player to win the award twice.
For the full watch list, as announced by the Maxwell Football Club this morning, click here.