Evans Listed on Bednarik Award Watch List

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – WKU linebacker JaQues Evans was honored today as the Maxwell Football Club today announced its watch list for the 29th Chuck Bednarik Award presented annually to the most outstanding defensive player in college football.

The Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1994 and is named in honor of Chuck “Concrete Charlie” Bednarik who was an All-American player at the University of Pennsylvania and later a multiple year All Pro linebacker and center for the Philadelphia Eagles. He is a member of both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame and was the last NFL player to be a full-time player on both offense and defense.

Evans was WKU’s leading tackler in 2022 with 106 takedowns, including 14 tackles for loss and nine sacks. The sophomore linebacker also broke up four passes, hurried the quarterback eight times and recovered two fumbles. In WKU’s bowl-clinching victory against Rice, Evans returned a fumble for a touchdown, one of the WKU defense’s six touchdowns on the season, which led all of college football. Evans and the Hilltopper defense also forced 32 turnovers on the season, which was the best mark in the country. He hit double-digit tackles on three games throughout the year, his season-high being 15 against North Texas. Evans was named to CUSA’s First Team at season’s end for his big year.

The Chuck Bednarik Award has once again partnered with Pro Football Focus (PFF) and Phil Steele Publications as selection committee partners. PFF provides detailed metrics and performance-based assessments to selection committee staff, with several senior PFF analysts are members of our selection committee. Phil Steele’s College Football Preview is generally recognized as the most complete preseason magazine.

Semifinalists for the Chuck Bednarik Award will be announced November 13, 2023, while the three finalists for the Bednarik Award will be unveiled November 28, 2023. The winners of the 29th Chuck Bednarik Award will be announced as part of the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on December 7, 2023. The formal presentations of the Chuck Bednarik Award will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards in March 2024.