The Bednarik Award is given out to the “Outstanding Collegiate Defensive Player of the Year” Here’s a preview on every Bednarik Watch List candidate from the Big East A look into who they were last season, and who they can potentially be this season.
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DE Trevardo Williams (Senior, Connecticut)
With Kendall Reyes gone and Tywon Martin hurt, the defensive leadership falls on Williams. Last year, Williams emerged as one of the best defensive ends in the Big East with a conference-leading 12.5 sacks; in a span of four conference games he had nine sacks, and set a career high of four against Rutgers. Although he is not overwhelming at 6-2 and 233 pounds, Williams displays great athleticism as he has established himself as one of the best pass-rushers in the nation. The senior claimed this offseason, “I want to get 16 sacks,” which is not far-fetched for the Husky.
DT Aaron Donald (Junior, Pittsburgh)
Trailing Williams by only 1.5 sacks was Pittsburgh’s hometown leader, Aaron Donald. The versatile defensive lineman played everywhere on the line last season, and on top of his sacks, he compiled 16 tackles for loss, with 11 quarterback hurries. Although Donald played every down in the 3-4, he only started five games, and should expect even more production this season.
LB Khaseem Greene (Senior, Rutgers)
Greene is coming back from a broken leg and a stellar 2012 season. The converted linebacker earned Big East Co-Defensive Player of the Year with his 141 tackles and three sacks leading the ninth ranked Rutgers defense to another bowl appearance. Greene has an incredible motor with great instincts, and if he returns healthy he can total for at least ten tackles per game.
CB Logan Ryan (Senior, Rutgers)
As a first-year starter Ryan was named All-Big East Second Team and was labeled as the team’s best corner. He led the team in pass breakups with 14, finished third in tackles with 67, while adding three interceptions. This physical corner along with Greene will make Rutgers the most feared defense in the Big East.