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Golson, Nkemdiche Added to Bednarik Award Watch List

Golson makes interception to secure the win over Alabama / Photo courtesy of Chuck Barnes
Golson makes interception to secure the win over Alabama. / Photo by Chuck Barnes

Ole Miss football senior defensive back Senquez Golson and sophomore defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche have been added to the Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List, the Maxwell Football Club announced Wednesday.
The Chuck Bednarik Award, which is celebrating its 20th year of existence, is presented annually to the best defensive college football player. There were 14 players added to the award’s watch list based on exceptional performances thus far in the 2014 season.
Golson and Nkemdiche join teammate Cody Prewitt, who was already on the watch list.
Golson leads the No. 3 Ole Miss football team, as well as the Southeastern Conference, and is tied for second nationally with five interceptions this season. In six games, Golson has totaled 19 tackles, as well as one tackle for loss. The Pascagoula, Mississippi, native is fourth in the SEC and tied for 23rd nationally with 1.33 passes defended per game. Golson secured the Rebels’ victory over then-No. 1 ranked Alabama with an interception in the back of the end zone with 37 seconds remaining, and returned one of his two interceptions against Louisiana-Lafayette for a 59-yard touchdown.
Nkemdiche has a modest 14 tackles, one TFL and one sack, but his stats don’t reflect the dominating presence he has on the Rebels’ D-line. The pressure he puts on opposing offensive lines, in both the running and passing game, has helped Ole Miss rank second nationally in points allowed (11.8 per game) and top 15 in total defense (307.2 yards per game). Opponents often double or triple-team the Loganville, Georgia, native, freeing up his teammates to make big sacks, tackles for loss or interceptions.
The Chuck Bednarik Award has been presented annually since 1995 and is named in honor of Chuck Bednarik, who is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame (1969) and the NFL Hall of Fame (1967).
Semifinalists for the Bednarik award will be announced Nov. 3, and the three finalists for the award will be announced Nov. 24. The winner of the Bednarik award will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Dec. 11.
The watch list candidates have been chosen by the Maxwell Football Club’s selection committee, and the Maxwell Club reserves the right to make additions and subtractions to these lists as the 2014 season unfolds. All members of the Maxwell Football Club, NCAA sports information directors, head coaches and selected national media are eligible to vote for this award.
Ole Miss (6-0, 3-0 SEC) plays again Saturday against Tennessee (3-3, 0-2 SEC). The game, which is scheduled to kick off at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN, is the Rebels’ Homecoming game. Ole Miss is 69-15-2 all-time in Homecoming games, and has won 15 of its last 17 such games.
For more information on Ole Miss Football, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissFB and on Facebook at Ole Miss Football.
Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports Information

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