The Bednarik Award has been presented to the best defensive player in college football each season since 1995, and Carter’s play this season has warranted recognition from the committee. He leads the Southeastern Conference with six sacks through five games, matched only by teammate Brenton Cox Jr.
Elite edge rushers have taken home the last two Bednarik awards, including Kentucky’s Josh Allen in 2018. If Carter can finish out the season as strong as he started (three of his six sacks came against FAU in the season opener), then Florida’s leader on the defensive line may have a shot at being a finalist.
🚨 Watch List Additions 🚨
— Maxwell Football (@MaxwellFootball) October 6, 2021
There are a number of great defenders in college football right now, perhaps most notably Michigan‘s Aidan Hutchinson. It will be hard for Carter to catch up and earn that kind of recognition, but being named to the watchlist is a start. Florida’s schedule gets a lot easier in November after the Georgia game, and Carter should be able to boost his sack numbers against teams such as South Carolina and Samford.
Florida defensive back Kaiir Elam is also on the watch list, but he’s been out for a few games with injury. Both players have been leaders of the defense, especially with the loss of linebacker Ventrell Miller, so the focus will continue to be on them for the rest of the season.
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