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FSU’s Amari Gainer named to Bednarik Award Watch List

Courtesy: Greg Oyster | 247Sports
Courtesy: Greg Oyster | 247Sports(WCTV)
Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 3:33 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (247Noles) - Florida State redshirt sophomore linebacker Amari Gainer has been named to the 27th annual Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List, which was announced on Monday. The Bednarik Award is presented annually to the college defensive player of the year.

The Tallahassee native led FSU with 65 tackles last season and also made 5.0 for loss with 0.5 sack, one forced fumble and three quarterback hurries. His tackles production was paced by three double-digit tackle games, including a career-high 12 stops at North Carolina State. He recorded 11 tackles with one forced fumble at No. 5 Notre Dame and also made 10 tackles, including a career-high-tying 2.5 for loss, in the season opener against Georgia Tech.

Gainer has appeared in 26 games and recorded 134 tackles, including 12.0 for loss with 4.0 sacks, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in his career. Gainer has been named to the ACC Honor Roll each of the past two years.

The Bednarik Award watch list is comprised of 90 candidates on the defensive side of the ball. Last year’s winner Zaven Collins (Tulsa) and fellow finalists Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (Notre Dame) and Patrick Surtain II (Alabama) have all moved on to the NFL.

The list features two returning semifinalists from 2020, Myjai Sanders (Cincinnati) and Kyle Hamilton (Notre Dame). There are 11 schools that have two candidates on the Bednarik watch list.

The full Bednarik Award Watch List can be found below:

Bednarik Award Watch List
Bednarik Award Watch List(247Noles)

Semifinalists for the Bednarik Award will be announced November 1, 2021, while the three finalists for the Bednarik Award will be unveiled November 22, 2021. The winners of the 2021 Bednarik Award will be announced as part of the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on December 9, 2021. The formal presentations of the Bednarik Award will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Tropicana Hotel & Casino Atlantic City on March 11, 2022.

The Chuck Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995 and is named in honor of Chuck Bednarik, who is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The award is presented by the Maxwell Football Club.

FSU has never had a player win the Bednarik Award.

From July 19th to July 30th, 16 award watch lists will be unveiled by the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). Here is a rundown of the dates for each watch list, each award and what the award is presented for:

July 19: Bednarik Award and Maxwell Award

The Bednarik Award is presented to the college defensive player of the year by the Maxwell Football Club.

The Maxwell Award is presented to the college player of the year by the Maxwell Football Club. FSU quarterback McKenzie Milton made the Watch List. More here.

July 20: Davey O’Brien Award

The Davey O’Brien Award is presented to the nation’s best quarterback by the Davey O’Brien Foundation.

July 21: Doak Walker Award

The Doak Walker Award is presented to the nation’s premier running back by the PwC SMU Athletic Forum.

July 22: Biletnikoff Award

The Biletnikoff Award is presented to the nation’s outstanding college receiver by the Tallahassee (Fla.) Quarterback Club Foundation.

July 23: Mackey Award and Rimington Trophy

The Mackey Award is presented to the nation’s most outstanding tight end by Friends of John Mackey.

The Rimington Trophy is presented to the nation’s premier center by the Boomer Esiason Foundation.

July 26: Jim Thorpe Award and Butkus Award

The Jim Thorpe Award is presented to the nation’s best defensive back by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.

The Butkus Award is presented to the nation’s best linebacker by the Butkus Foundation.

July 27: Outland Trophy and Bronko Nagurski Trophy

The Outland Trophy is presented to the nation’s most outstanding interior lineman by the Football Writers Association of America.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is presented to the nation’s most outstanding defensive player by the Charlotte (N.C.) Touchdown Club.

July 28: Lou Groza Award and Ray Guy Award

The Lou Groza Award is presented to the nation’s top place-kicker by the Palm Beach County (Fla.) Sports Commission.

The Ray Guy Award is presented to the college punter of the year by the Augusta (Ga.) Sports Council.

July 29: Paul Hornung Award and Wuerffel Trophy

The Paul Hornung Award is presented to the most versatile player in college football by the Louisville (Ky.) Sports Commission.

The Wuerffel Trophy is presented to the player who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement by the All Sports Association of Fort Walton Beach (Fla)

July 30: Walter Camp Award

The Walter Camp Award is presented to the nation’s most outstanding player by the Walter Camp Football Foundation.

Portions from FSU release

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