Aug. 13, 2009
Baylor linebacker Joe Pawelek was included on another preseason national award watch list Thursday when the Maxwell Football Club named him one of 55 candidates for the 15th Chuck Bednarik Award, given annually to the nation's top defensive collegian.
Pawelek, also on watch lists for the Rotary Lombardi Award and Ronnie Lott Trophy, is one of nine Big 12 players on the watch list.
A returning and preseason All-American as well as a 2008 Academic All-American, Pawelek is the nation's leading active career tackler with 313 tackles heading into the 2009 season. Pawelek ranked seventh nationally in tackles last season (10.7 tackles per game) and seventh in interceptions (0.5 interceptions per game) - the only player ranked in the top 10 of both categories.
The 6-2, 240-pound senior from San Antonio totaled 128 tackles and six interceptions in 2008 and has started 34 of 36 career games and with 313 career tackles is three shy of entering Baylor's all-time top 10 listing.
The Chuck Bednarik Award has been presented since 1995 and is named in honor of Chuck Bednarik, a former University of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Eagle great. Bednarik is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame (1969) and the NFL Hall of Fame (1967).
Semifinalists for the Bednarik Award will be announced on Nov. 4 and three finalists for the award will be announced Nov. 23. The winner of the 2009 Bednarik Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show which will be held on Dec. 10, 2009. The formal presentation of this award will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Harrah's Entertainment Atlantic City on March 5, 2010.