PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- The Maxwell Football Club announced its watch list for the 17th annual Bednarik Award, presented to the nation's top defensive player since 1995. A former standout at Penn and with the Philadelphia Eagles, Chuck Bednarik is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 1969 and the NFL Hall of Fame’s Class of 1967.

The watch list incorporates a broad spectrum of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) programs and conferences from coast to coast. The watch list features three of last season’s semifinalists: Florida State DE Brandon Jenkins, Boston College LB Luke Kuechly and Notre Dame LB Manti Te’o

The 2010 Bednarik Award winner, LSU CB Patrick Peterson left school early following his junior season, when he was taken fifth in the first round of the National Football League Draft by the Arizona Cardinals.

Semifinalists for the Bednarik Award will be announced Oct. 31 and the three finalists will be unveiled Nov. 21. The winner of the 2011 Bednarik Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show on Dec. 8. The formal presentation of the award will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Harrah's Entertainment Atlantic City on March 2.

The watch list candidates have been chosen by the Maxwell Football Club's selection committee, evaluating past performance and future potential. Additions and deletions to the list will happen as the 2011 season unfolds. All members of the Maxwell Football Club, NCAA sports information directors, head coaches and selected national media are eligible to vote for the awards.

The Bednarik Award is part of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game’s predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients. 

2011 Bednarik Award Watch List
Player Position School Player Position School
Ray-Ray Armstrong S Miami Robert Lester S Alabama
Ryan Baker LB LSU Travis Lewis LB Oklahoma
Mark Barron S Alabama Brandon Lindsey DE Pittsburgh
Jake Bequette DE Arkansas Mike Martin DT Michigan
Brandon Boykin CB Georgia Chris Marve LB Vanderbilt
Nigel Bradham LB Florida State Jonathan Massaquoi DE Troy
Tanner Brock LB TCU Tyrann Mathieu CB LSU
Vince Browne DE Northwestern T.J. McDonald S USC
Vontaze Burfict LB Arizona State Chase Minnifield CB  Virginia
Tank Carder LB TCU Roosevelt Nix DT Kent State
Morris Claiborne CB LSU Donte Paige-Moss DE North Carolina
Quinton Coples DT North Carolina Shaun Prater CB Iowa
Jared Crick DT Nebraska Kheeston Randall DT Texas
Vinny Curry DE  Marshall Kevin Reddick LB North Carolina
Lavonte David LB Nebraska Greg Reid CB Florida State
Alfonzo Dennard CB Nebraska Kendall Reyes DT Connecticut
Tony Dye S UCLA Xavier Rhodes CB Florida State
Donnie Fletcher CB Boston College Keenan Robinson LB Texas
Jerry Franklin LB Arkansas Shayne Skov LB Stanford
Stephon Gilmore CB South Carolina Sean Spence LB Miami
Zaviar Gooden LB Missouri Alameda Ta'amu DT Washington
Casey Hayward CB Vanderbilt Keith Tandy CB West Virginia
Dant'a Hightower LB Alabama Kenny Tate S Maryland
Jayron Hosley CB Virginia Tech Bruce Taylor LB Virginia Tech
Jaye Howard DT Florida Devin Taylor DE South Carolina
Delano Howell S Stanford Manit Te'o LB Notre Dame
Bruce Irvin DE West Virginia Danny Trevathan LB Kentucky
Brandon Jenkins DE Florida State Courtney Upshaw LB Alabama
Coryell Judie CB Texas A&M Prentiss Waggner S Tennessee
Mychal Kendricks LB California Korey Williams LB Southern Miss
Dre Kirkpatrick CB Alabama Billy Winn DT Boise State
Jake Knott LB Iowa State Jerel Worthy DT Michigan State
Luke Kuechly LB Boston College