PHILADELPHIA - Four LSU football standouts will have a shot at earning college football's national defensive player of the year honor in 2012 as Tyrann Mathieu, Sam Montgomery, Barkevious Mingo and Eric Reid have been named to the watch list for the Bednarik Award, the Maxwell Football Club announced on Monday morning.
LSU joined Alabama and Michigan State with the most representatives on the watch list that kicked off the National College Football Awards Association's 12-day watch list unveiling of individual awards for the 2012 season.
The Tigers have produced back-to-back Bednarik Award winners, joining Northwestern and Penn State as the only schools to do so. LSU has produced more Bednarik Award recipients than any program in Southeastern Conference history. In 2010, Patrick Peterson captured the honor as a junior. After a spectacular sophomore season, fellow cornerback Tyrann Mathieu walked away with the award at last year's ESPN College Football Awards show.
Mathieu seeks to become the third repeat winner in the award's history, joining Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald and Penn State's Paul Posluszny. A 2011 Heisman Trophy award finalist, Mathieu heads into his junior season having created a total of 14 turnovers during his career. His 11 forced fumbles rank seventh in NCAA history and are just three shy of the NCAA career record. Mathieu currently owns the NCAA career record in forced fumbles per game with 0.42.
The junior tandem of Montgomery and Mingo give LSU arguably the nation's most outstanding defensive end production. Montgomery, a finalist for national defensive end of the year in 2011, has recorded 19.5 tackles for loss and 11 sacks in two seasons. Mingo holds a team-best 20.5 career tackles for loss to go along with 10.5 sacks and 15 quarterback hurries. He ranked third in the SEC last season with 15 tackles for loss.
Reid, also a candidate for the 2012 Lott Trophy, is one of the top safeties in all of college football. The hard-hitting Reid was a second-team All-American as a sophomore after tying for the team lead in total tackles with 76 in 2011. He has tallied four career interceptions.
Semifinalists for Bednarik Award will be announced Oct. 29 and the three finalists for each award will be unveiled Nov. 19. The winners will be announced as part of the Home Depot ESPN College Football Awards Show held on Dec. 6. The formal presentation of the award will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala in Atlantic City on March 1, 2013.
2012 NCFAA Preseason Watch List Calendar
Monday, July 9 - Maxwell, Bednarik Awards
Tuesday, July 10 - Mackey Award, Rimington Trophy
Wednesday, July 11 - Lou Groza Award, Ray Guy Award
Thursday, July 12 - Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Outland Trophy
Friday, July 13 - Jim Thorpe Award
Monday, July 16 - Butkus Award, Lombardi Award
Tuesday, July 17 - Biletnikoff Award
Wednesday, July 18 - Davey O'Brien Award
Thursday, July 19 - Doak Walker Award
Friday, July 20 - Walter Camp Award