PHILADELPHIA (July 8, 2013) -- Baylor junior linebacker Bryce Hager has been named to the 75-man watch list for the 19th annual Bednarik Award, The Maxwell Football Club announced Monday. Hager is one of seven Big 12 players on the list and one of 27 linebackers honored.
The Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995 and is named for Chuck Bednarik, a former standout at Penn and with the Philadelphia Eagles. He 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.
Hager is the first Baylor player to be on the Bednarik Award watch list since Joe Pawelek received the distinction in 2009.
As the starting middle linebacker in 10 of 13 games for the Bears in 2012, Hager led the Big 12 with 9.5 tackles-per-game. The Austin, Texas-product totaled 124 tackles with 72 of those being solo stops. Hager had 9.5 tackles for 44 yards in losses, while recording four sacks, eight QB hurries and two forced fumbles.
Hager tallied a career-high 16 tackles against Oklahoma in the ninth game of the season and then posted eight or more tackles in the last four games of 2012 to give him a 10.2 tackles-per-game average over the year’s final five games.
For his efforts, Hager was named to the All-Big 12 second team by the league’s coaches and the Associated Press.
Semifinalists for the Bednarik Award will be announced Oct. 29, while three finalists will be unveiled Nov. 25. The winners of the 2013 Bednarik Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on Dec. 12. The formal presentations of the award will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Harrah's Entertainment Atlantic City on March 7.
The watch list candidates have been chosen by the Maxwell Football Club's selection committee, which analyzes both past performance and future potential. The Club reserves the right to make additions and deletions to these lists as the 2013 season unfolds. All members of the Maxwell Football Club, NCAA sports information directors, FBS head coaches and selected national media are eligible to vote for the awards.
Other Big 12 players on the list include: Calvin Barnett (Oklahoma State), Aaron Colvin (Oklahoma), Devonte Fields (TCU), Jackson Jeffcoat (Texas), Jason Verrett (TCU) and Ty Zimmerman (Kansas State).