July 7, 2014
PHILADELPHIA - The Maxwell Football Club today announced its watch list for the 20th annual Chuck Bednarik Award, which includes Rice junior defensive tackle Christian Covington.
The Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995. Chuck Bednarik, former standout at Penn and with the Philadelphia Eagles, is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame's Class of '69 and the NFL Hall of Fame's Class of '67.
A junior from Vancouver, B.C., Covington was a first-team all-Conference USA pick by league coaches in 2013, leading the team with a career-high 14 tackles for loss while finishing with a career-best 59 tackles. He played the last five games of the year playing with a heavy cast on his right hand due to thumb injury, but still recorded 4.5 of his tackles for loss, including a pair in the Liberty Bowl. He posted his top two totals for unassisted tackles after his injury (six each vs. UAB and Mississippi State). He was also directly responsible for the Owls' first two defensive touchdowns in 2013, partially deflecting pass that Michael Kutzler ran back for a touchdown vs. Kansas and blocking a field goal vs. Houston that Alex Lyons returned for a score. He was also named to Dave Campbell's Texas Football's All-Texas postseason team at the conclusion of the 2013 season and to the 2014 preseason first team.
Covington is one of just two players from C-USA on the list as he is joined by Marshall senior tackle James Rouse.
The Chuck Bednarik Award watch list features three of last season's semifinalists, Clemson DE Vic Beasley, Oregon CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and USC DE Leonard Williams. Notably, Georgia landed three linebackers on the list, Leonard Floyd, Jordan Jenkins, and Ramik Wilson. And despite Stanford losing four of its best defensive players to the NFL Draft, the Cardinal still leads all teams with four players represented.
Semifinalists for the Bednarik Award will be announced Nov. 3, 2014, while the three finalists for each award will be unveiled Nov. 24, 2014. The winner of the 2014 Bednarik Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on Dec. 11, 2014. The formal presentations of the award will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Revel Casino Hotel Atlantic City on March 6, 2015.
Rice will open training camp for the 2014 season on August 4 and open the 2014 season on August 30 at Notre Dame.