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Penn State Linebacker Micah Parsons Named to Bednarik Award Watch List

Parsons hopes to become the next member of Linebacker U. to land the prestigious award.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 14 Pitt at Penn State Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In what will likely be the least surprising news you read today, Micah Parsons has been listed among the 90 candidates for the Bednarik Award, given annually to the nation’s top defensive player.

Parsons will be entering his junior season after leading the Nittany Lions in tackles as a true freshman and sophomore. Parsons was a consensus first-team All-American in 2019 after finishing with 109 tackles, 14 TFLs, five sacks and four forced fumbles. He had perhaps the best game of his Penn State career in the Cotton Bowl victory over Memphis, where he collected 14 tackles, two sacks and two forced fumbles- including one that led to a momentum-swinging touchdown by safety Garrett Taylor.

Penn State players have taken home four Bednarik Award trophies - the most of any program. While the award is for the best overall defensive player, all three Bednarik Awards went to linebackers - LaVar Arrington in 1999, Paul Posluzny in 2005 and 2006, and Dan Connor in 2007.