2012 Bednarik Award Watch List: LSU, Alabama Highlight SEC Dominance
Defense wins championships.
With that time-tested mantra in mind, it should come as no surprise that players from LSU and Alabama dominate the Bednarik Award watch list, which is an award given to the nation's top defensive player.
The two SEC powerhouses placed four players each on the watch list, which is tied with Michigan State for the most in the country.
Defensive ends Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo, cornerback Tyrann Mathieu and safety Eric Reid represent LSU on the list. Mingo and Montgomery comprise one of the top defensive lines in the country and their ability to put constant pressure on the quarterback will allow Mathieu, Reid and the rest of the LSU defense to shine in 2012.
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Alabama lost a lot of pieces off last season's defense, but the Crimson Tide is still stacked. Linebackers Nico Johnson and C.J. Mosley, defensive tackle Jesse Williams and safety Robert Lester found their way on the list. Head coach Nick Saban has stocked that roster with an amazing level of talent.
Don't be surprised if any of these four take home the hardware, but keep a close eye on Johnson and Mosley. If you're looking for a Tide player that's flying under the Bednarik radar, pay close attention to Dee Milliner. The rising junior was the third cornerback last season, but still managed to lead the Tide with three interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown.
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If you want to pick an SEC favorite for the Bendarik Award, look no further than Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones. He led the SEC with 13.5 sacks last season, and is a perfect fit in defensive coordinator Todd Grantham's 3-4 system. Jones is joined on the watch list by fellow Bulldog John Jenkins, a defensive lineman who transferred from junior college before last season.
South Carolina defensive ends Jadeveon Clowney and Devin Taylor, Florida defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd, Mississippi State cornerback Jonathan Banks and Texas A&M linebacker Sean Porter were also named to the Bednarik Award watch list.
The see the entire Bednarik Award watch list, click here.
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