Just like fellow Nittany Lion Christian Hackenberg, Jordan Lucas had his name announced on Monday to a preseason award watch list. The talented cornerback is a candidate for the Bednarik Award, given to the nation’s defensive player of the year.
The award has been given annually since 1995 and is named after the great linebacker Chuck Bednarik, a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame as well as the NFL Hall of Fame.
Lucas had a big year in 2013, his first as a starter. He was an honorable mention All-Big Ten and will be one of the leaders on defense this season.
Last season, Lucas finished third on the team with 65 total tackles. His three interceptions tied for the team lead. He also recorded a sack and led the team with 13 pass breakups. His 16 passes defended tied for third in the Big Ten. In the game at Ohio State, he recorded a career-high 11 tackles.
Penn State has four Bednarik Award winners in its history, the most of any school in the nation. LaVar Arrington (1999), Paul Posluszny (2005,2006) and Dan Connor (2007). Devon Still, a standout defensive tackle for the Nittany Lions was a finalist for the award in 2011.
Semifinalists for the award will be announced on November 3, with three finalists being named on November 24. The winner will be announced on December 11 at the Home Depot College Football Awards Show.
The full list of Bednarik Award candidates can be found here.