Nik Bonitto was the only Big 12 Conference player to make the 2021 Bednarik Award Semifinal Watch List, the award given to the nation’s top defensive player.
The semifinal watch list was released on Nov. 1, and 18 players from around the country made the cut. The Bednarik is named for former Philadelphia Eagles defensive lineman Chuck Bednarik.
In nine games this season, Bonitto has 28 total tackles, including nine tackles for loss and five sacks. He has also recorded seven quarterback hurries and two fumble recoveries.
The Sooners are off this week, and Bonitto is a big reason why Oklahoma is in the Top 5 and hoping for a Top 4 ranking when the first College Football Playoff rankings are announced tomorrow. Oklahoma is undefeated and in the driver’s seat in the race for the regular-season crown and a berth in the Big 12 Championship game.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.
2021 Bednarik Award Semifinal Watch List
(Big 12 Players in Bold)
LB Will Anderson Jr., Alabama
LB Nik Bonitto, Oklahoma
S Jaquan Brisker, Penn State
LB Leo Chenal, Wisconsin
DT Jordan Davis, Georgia
LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia
DE Kingsley Enagbare, South Carolina
CB Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati
S Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame
DE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan
DE Jermaine Johnson, Florida State
DE George Karlaftis, Purdue
DT DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M
LB Devin Lloyd, Utah
CB Roger McCreary, Auburn
LB Chad Muma, Wyoming
LB Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon
DE Cameron Thomas, San Diego State