SYRACUSE, N.Y. (SU ATHLETICS) – Syracuse middle linebacker and captain of the defense Mikel Jones can add another honor to his growing list of preseason accolades. Jones was named to the Bednarik Award Watch List, which is presented annually to the defensive player of the year.

Jones has already earned the nod to the Bronco Nagurski Trophy (most outstanding defensive player) and Butkus Award (most outstanding linebacker) watch lists ahead of his fourth season with the program.

The First Team All-ACC selection in 2021 is a preseason All-American by multiple publications heading into his fourth season with the program. A captain and the ACC’s second-leading tackler from a year ago, Jones finished with 110 total tackles. He notched six games with 10+ tackles in 2021.

In addition to Jones’ three watch list selections, Orange running back Sean Tucker has been added to three of his own heading into the year. Tucker has made the Maxwell Award and Walter Camp watch lists for the nation’s most outstanding player and Doak Walker Award Watch List for the nation’s top running back. Additionally, kicker Andre Szmyt is on the Lou Groza Award Watch List and Aaron Bolinsky made the Wuerffel Trophy Watch List.

The Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1994 and is named in honor of Chuck “Concrete Charlie” Bednarik who was an All-American player at the University of Pennsylvania and later a multiple year All Pro linebacker and center for the Philadelphia Eagles. He is a member of both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame and was the last NFL player to be a full-time player on both offense and defense.

Semifinalists for the Chuck Bednarik Award will be announced November 1, 2022, while the three finalists for the Bednarik Award will be unveiled November 22, 2022. The winners of the 28th Bednarik Award will be announced as part of the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on December 8, 2022. The formal presentations of the award will be made at the 86th Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala live from Atlantic City, NJ on March 10, 2023.