July 10, 2017
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia free safety Quin Blanding and inside linebacker Micah Kiser have been named to the preseason Bednarik Award Watch List, the Maxwell Football Club announced Monday.
The Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995. Chuck Bednarik, a former standout at Penn and with the Philadelphia Eagles, is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame (class of 1969) and the NFL Hall of Fame (class of 1967).
Both Blanding and Kiser have previously been named this summer to the 2017 Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List. This is the second year in a row both Blanding and Kiser have been on the preseason Bednarik Award Watch List, while Blanding was on the 2015 preseason list as a sophomore.
Blanding (Virginia Beach, Va.) was named a Sporting News and Sports Illustrated second-team All-American in 2016. A two-time first-team All-ACC honoree, Blanding started all 12 games for UVA in 2016 and finished the year No. 2 in the ACC and No. 9 in the nation with 10.0 tackles per game. Blanding has finished the past three seasons No. 2 in the ACC in tackles and his 358 career stops currently ranks No. 9 all-time in the UVA annals.
Kiser (Baltimore, Md.) was a Football Writers Association of America second-team All-American in 2016 after finishing No. 1 in the ACC and No. 4 in the nation with 11.2 tackles per game. The two-time first-team All-ACC honoree has led the league in tackles each of the past two seasons.
Since the ACC began tracking tackle leaders in 1990, no defensive duo from the same team has finished No. 1 and No. 2 in the league in tackles in back-to-back years.
Semifinalists for the Bednarik Award will be announced Oct. 30, 2017, while the three finalists will be unveiled Nov. 20, 2017. The winner of the 2016 Bednarik Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on Dec. 7, 2017. The formal presentations of these awards will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Tropicana Hotel & Casino Atlantic City on March 9, 2018.
The Chuck Bednarik Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Visit www.NCFAA.org to learn more.