IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa junior defensive end Anthony Nelson has been named to the 2018 Bednarik Award Trophy Watch List.
The Bednarik Award, presented annually by the Maxell Football Club, is given to the nation’s top college defensive player. Iowa has had four semifinalists for the award since 2005, with former defensive back Desmond King being the most recent in 2016.
A year ago, Nelson (6-foot-7, 271-pounds) started all 13 games and recorded a team-leading and career-high 7.5 sacks to earn third-team All-Big Ten honors. The Urbandale, Iowa, native totaled 41 tackles, including 9.5 for loss, while also recording four pass break-ups, two forced fumbles, and a blocked field goal. His fourth-quarter strip sack against Boston College quarterback Darius Wade ultimately led to Iowa’s game-winning touchdown in the Pinstripe Bowl.
Earlier this summer, Nelson was named one of 42 candidates for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, an award former linebacker Josey Jewell won in 2017. Nelson, who was named to Iowa’s 2018 Leadership Group, is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, a first-team Academic All-American, and was most recently honored as a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar.
The Bednarik award has been presented to the nation’s top defensive player since 1995, and was named after Chuck Bednarik, a former standout and a member of the College Football Hall of Fame since 1969.
The award, in conjunction with the NCFAA, will announce semifinalists on Oct. 29, while finalists will be revealed Nov. 19. Winners will be announced Dec. 6 as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show.
Nelson and the Hawkeyes begin their season against Northern Illinois on Sept. 1. For ticket information visithawkeyesports.com/fightforiowa.