Junior outside linebacker Jarvis Jones and senior nose tackle John Jenkins are two of 65 players in the running for the 2012 Bednarik Award. Junior quarterback Aaron Murray is one of 23 quarterbacks included on the list for the Maxwell Award.
The Bednarik Award has been presented to the nation’s top defensive player since 1995. A former standout at Penn and with the Philadelphia Eagles, Chuck Bednarik is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 1969 and the NFL Hall of Fame’s Class of 1967. Georgia’s David Pollack won the award in 2004.
The Maxwell Award has been given to America’s outstanding collegiate football player since 1937, and is named in honor of sportswriter Robert W. “Tiny” Maxwell. The Bulldogs have had a pair of Maxwell Award winners — Charley Trippi in 1946 and Herschel Walker in 1982.
A native of Columbus, Jones was a unanimous First Team All-American following the 2011 season after he led the SEC in both sacks (13.5) and tackles for loss (19.5). Last year marked his first season playing for the Bulldogs after he transferred from Southern Cal and then redshirted the 2010 campaign.
Jenkins, a native of Meriden, Conn., made an immediate impact for Georgia in 2011, his first season in Athens. The 6-3, 351-pound Jenkins played in all 14 games, including starting seven of the final nine, and tallied 28 tackles, three sacks and six tackles for loss. He also forced a fumble, recovered a fumble and had an interception from his spot in the middle of the defensive line.
A Tampa, Fla., native, Murray finished the 2011 season with a school-record 35 touchdown passes and set a school record for touchdown responsibility by a quarterback in a season with 37 (two rushing). Murray is the Southeastern Conference’s leading active player in total offensive yards (6,476), completions (447), touchdown responsibility (65), touchdown passes (59) and passing yards (6,198). He graduated in May 2012 and is now in graduate school.
Semifinalists for the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced Oct. 29, and the three finalists for each award will be unveiled Nov. 19. The winners of the 2012 Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced as part of the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show held on Dec. 6. The formal presentation of these awards will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Harrah’s Entertainment Atlantic City on March 1.