BOONE, N.C. — App State senior defensive end Demetrius Taylor and junior cornerback Shaun Jolly have been named to the watch list for the Bednarik Award, which is presented to the top defensive player in college football.
Only 20 FBS programs and just four Group of Five programs had multiple selections. Moving forward from a 13-1 season with a top-20 national ranking, App State has a Bednarik candidate for the second straight year.
The Maxwell Football Club announced the watch list candidates for the award named in honor of Chuck Bednarik, a former standout at the University of Pennsylvania and with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Jolly already has been named a preseason All-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation (first team), Street and Smith (second team) and Sporting News (second team). Taylor has been named a preseason All-Sun Belt choice by Street and Smith, Lindy’s and Athlon, among others.
Last season, as a sophomore and first-year starter, Jolly was named a second-team All-American by PFF College, which assigned him an overall performance grade of 91.7 that tied for first place nationally among 496 qualifying FBS cornerbacks. He intercepted five passes in 2019, tied for the FBS lead with two pick-six touchdowns and added eight PBUs, 45 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss.
Taylor had 44 tackles, 13.0 tackles for loss, 7.0 sacks, eight QB hurries, four pass breakups, three forced fumbles, one interception and one fumble return for a touchdown last season. He earned several national defensive player of the week honors based on his 2019 performance against North Carolina and has 13.5 sacks among his 22.5 tackles for loss in 39 career games.
Semifinalists for the Bednarik Award will be announced Nov. 3.