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Ji’Ayir Brown, Joey Porter Jr. Named To Bednarik Award Watch List

It’s still watch list season, folks.

Penn State football safety Ji’Ayir Brown and cornerback Joey Porter Jr. were named to the Bednarik Award watch list by the Maxwell Football Club on Monday morning.

The Bednarik Award is presented to college football’s top defensive player annually.

Fifth-year senior Ji’Ayir Brown had an impressive 2021 season, which included an NCAA-best six interceptions, including one that secured a last-second win over Wisconsin as time expired.

Brown also recorded 73 tackles, two fumble recoveries, and one touchdown. He was also named a third-team All-Big Ten honoree by coaches.

Redshirt junior Joey Porter Jr. is set for a big year. As the only Nittany Lion currently projected to be a first-round pick in next year’s NFL Draft, the cornerback is expected to have a successful 2022 season.

Last year, Porter recorded 51 tackles, four pass breakups, one interception, and a fumble recovery. He also was named to the third-team All-Big Ten list by coaches.

This isn’t the first watch list for either player this preseason, either. Both Brown and Porter were named to the Jim Thorpe Award watchlist in July.

Last season, Chicago Bears safety Jaquan Brisker was named a semifinalist for the award.

The Maxwell Football Club will reveal its semifinalists on November 1, while the top three finalists will be unveiled on November 22. The recipient of the 2022 Chuck Bednarik Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot ESPN College Football Awards Show on December 8.

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About the Author

Anna Wiggins

Anna is a junior public relations major and one of Onward State's social media editors. Hailing from Washington D.C. (aka Alexandria, VA), she loves 80's and 90's rock, ironic L.L. Bean Boat and Tote bags, and was born in a pink hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @annaewiggins. Please send all of your best gossip to [email protected]

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