Awards watch: Trio of Bucks for Bednarik
July, 8, 2013
By Austin Ward | ESPN.com
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The wait is almost over. The season is finally creeping up again, and the annual release of preseason watch lists for the biggest awards in college football confirms it -- and helps provide a useful distraction during the final month leading up to the start of training camp. BuckeyeNation will be tracking all the Ohio State players being tracked by the various committees and will be handicapping their odds of bringing a few trophies back to campus along the way.
CHUCK BEDNARIK AWARD
David Dermer/Diamond Images/Getty ImagesRyan Shazier is on the watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award.
- What: The nation's top defensive player
- On the list: Ohio State senior safety C.J. Barnett, junior cornerback Bradley Roby and junior linebacker Ryan Shazier
- Credentials: Even while playing about half the season at less than full strength, Shazier still showed he was one of the best sideline-to-sideline defenders in the country by stuffing the stats sheet in pretty much every way imaginable. He didn't receive all that much national acclaim for a player with 115 tackles, 17 tackles for a loss, five sacks, three forced fumbles, an interception and a touchdown while suiting up for an undefeated team, but it's safe to assume his name is much better known now than it was at this time a year ago. The same is true for Roby, who also dealt with some nagging health issues while developing into one of the most productive cornerbacks in the country, making it seem routine to get a hand on the football with 19 passes defended during his banner sophomore campaign. To complete the trio and follow the script, Barnett also was slowed by an ankle issue that forced him out of the lineup for three games. The safety can be a real asset when he's at 100 percent, though his higher-profile teammates will likely have more chances to accumulate the kind of numbers needed to win a trophy.
- Head to head: Showcase opportunities against other players currently being watched by the committee -- Deion Barnes (Penn State), Chris Borland (Wisconsin) Jonathan Brown (Illinois), Jake Fely (San Diego State), Khalil Mack (Buffalo) and James Morris (Iowa).
- Odds: South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney will enter the season as a strong favorite for the award, and he has an edge over Shazier and Roby in both name recognition and entries on the highlight reel. But both of those Buckeyes could conceivably make a push for the award if they duplicate the productive seasons they turned in a year ago. Shazier could potentially take his tackling total to a higher level, and if he's involved in a few more turnovers, that would be a bonus for Ohio State as well. And if Roby can turn a couple more of those passes broken up into interceptions, the amount of attention for the athletic defensive back might increase dramatically as well.
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BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
Final Washington State 45 Colorado State 48 Final 20 Fresno State 20 25 USC 45 Final Buffalo 24 San Diego State 49 Final Tulane 21 Louisiana-Lafayette 24
Final Pittsburgh 30 Bowling Green 27 Final Utah State 21 23 Northern Illinois 14
Final Marshall 31 Maryland 20 Final Syracuse 21 Minnesota 17 Final Brigham Young 16 Washington 31
Final Rutgers 16 Notre Dame 29 Final Cincinnati 17 North Carolina 39 Final Miami (FL) 9 18 Louisville 36 Final Michigan 14 Kansas State 31
Final Middle Tennessee 6 Navy 24 Final Ole Miss 25 Georgia Tech 17 Final 10 Oregon 30 Texas 7 Final 14 Arizona State 23 Texas Tech 37
Final Arizona 42 Boston College 19 Final Virginia Tech 12 17 UCLA 42 Final Rice 7 Mississippi State 44 Final 24 Duke 48 21 Texas A&M 52
Final Nebraska 24 22 Georgia 19 Final UNLV 14 North Texas 36 Final Iowa 14 16 LSU 21 Final 19 Wisconsin 24 9 South Carolina 34 Final 5 Stanford 20 4 Michigan State 24 Final 15 UCF 52 6 Baylor 42
Final 13 Oklahoma State 31 8 Missouri 41 Final 12 Clemson 40 7 Ohio State 35