July 7, 2014
Twenty Big Ten student-athletes were named to the watch lists for the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards today. The Maxwell Award is granted to the national player of the year, while the Bednarik Award is earned by the country’s top defensive standout.
Ten Big Ten players were named to the Maxwell Award watch list – Maryland wide receiver Stefon Diggs, Michigan wide receiver Devin Funchess and quarterback Devin Gardner, Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook and running back Jeremy Langford, Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah, Northwestern running back Venric Mark, Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller, Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg and Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon. Miller and Gordon have been named semifinalists for the Maxwell Award in the past. Current Big Ten schools have claimed the Maxwell Award on 20 occasions.
Ten Big Ten standouts were selected for the Bednarik Award watch list – Iowa defensive tackle Carl Davis, Michigan defensive end Frank Clark and linebacker Jake Ryan, Michigan State defensive end Shilique Calhoun, safety Kurtis Drummond and cornerback Trae Waynes, Nebraska defensive end Randy Gregory, Ohio State defensive tackle Michael Bennett and defensive end Joey Bosa and Penn State cornerback Jordan Lucas. Linebackers Ryan Shazier of Ohio State and Chris Borland of Wisconsin were named Bednarik Award semifinalists last season. Current Big Ten teams have won the Bednarik Award nine times.