Irish foursome on Bednarik Award watch list
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Senior CB Bennett Jackson, senior DL Louis Nix III, senior OLB Prince Shembo and junior DL Stephon Tuitt of the University of Notre Dame were selected to the 2013 Bednarik Award watch list. Nix III and Tuitt were also chosen to the 2013 Maxwell Award watch list.
The Bednarik Award is given to college football’s defensive player of the year, while the Maxwell Award is presented to the college football player of the year.
The four Irish players featured on the Bednarik watch list are the most of any Football Bowl Subdivision program. Alabama, Florida, Ohio State and Stanford were each represented by three players.
Nix III and Tuitt represent two of the six total defensive players on the Maxwell watch list. Notre Dame is the only FBS program with multiple selections on the defensive side of the ball. The tandem is also included on just about every preseason All-America team in the country.
Nix III anchored Notre Dame’s dominant defensive front in 2012 and was consequently named a CBSSports.com Third Team All-American. He started 11 of 13 games and collected 50 tackles, the most among all defensive linemen.
Tuitt, who was named first-team All-American by CBSSports.com, ESPN.com and Sports Illustrated, collected a team-best 12.0 sacks in 2012.
Shembo totaled 51 tackles, including 22 solo stops, in last season. He added 10 and a half tackles for loss, seven and a half sacks and 12 quarterback hurries.
Jackson started all 13 games at cornerback last year. He proved to be an exceptional cornerback, moving into one of two vacancies at the start of the season. Jackson ranked third on the Irish with 65 tackles, trailing only Manti Te’o and Zeke Motta.