PHILADELPHIA, Pa. –– The University of Tulsa defensive standout Jaxon Player was named to the watch list for the 27th annual Chuck Bednarik Award, by the Maxwell Football Club. The Chuck Bednarik Award is presented annually to the outstanding defensive player in college football.
Player’s former Tulsa teammate Zaven Collins, now with the Arizona Cardinals, was the winner of the 2020 Chuck Bednarik Award as the nation’s top defender.
A 6’0″ senior defensive lineman from Waco, Texas, Player was a first-team American Athletic Conference selection last season. In nine games, Player registered 37 tackles, 9.5 TFLs for -26 yards, three sacks for -6 yards, five QB hurries and two blocked kicks.
He tallied a career-best 12 tackles and 4.5 stops for -12 yards at Navy, while earning the AAC Defensive Player of the Week award for his performance.
Player has played in 28 career games and has 17 starts, while totaling 83 career tackles, 17 TFLs for -39 yards, three sacks for -6 yards, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery from his interior defensive front position. Player has also blocked four kicks in his career, including three field goals and one PAT.
The Chuck 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 is comprised of 90 candidates on the defensive side of the ball. Tulsa’s Collins and fellow finalists Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (Notre Dame) and Patrick Surtain II (Alabama) have moved on to the NFL. This year’s preseason list features two returning semifinalists from 2020, Myjai Sanders (Cincinnati) and Kyle Hamilton (Notre Dame).
COURTESY TULSA ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS