Joey Porter Jr. named semifinalist for Chuck Bednarik Award

Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr. started off the month of November by being recognized as a semifinalist for one of the top individual awards in college football for a defensive player. The Maxwell Football Club revealed its semifinalists for this year’s Chuck Bednarik Award on Tuesday, and Porter was among those making the semifinalist cut.

The Bednarik Award is presented annually to college football’s best defensive player by the Maxwell Football Club. It is named in honor of former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Chuck Bednarik, who played his college football at Penn.

Porter is looking to do something that is rarely done with the Bednarik Award. Only four cornerbacks have won the Bednarik Award since it was first presented in 1995. The only other cornerbacks to win the award are Charles Woodson (1997, Michigan), Patrick Peterson (201-, LSU), Tyrann Mathieu (2011, LSU), and Minkah Fitzpatrick (2017, Alabama).

Dan Connor is the most recent Penn State player to take home the Bednarik Award. He did so in 2007 to make it three consecutive seasons a Penn State player won the award. Paul Posluszny won the award in 2005 and 2006 and is one of two all-time winners to win the award multiple times. Current Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald is the only other player to win multiple Bednarik Awards. He did so in 1995 and 1996, the first two seasons the award was presented.

In addition to Posluszny and Connor, Penn State also saw LaVar Arrington win the award in 1999 to boost Penn State’s total to four Bednarik Awards. No other school has more than two Bednarik Award winners (Northwestern, GeorgiaLSU, and Alabama each have two Bednarik award winners).

Last year’s recipient of the Bednarik Award was Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis. The last Big Ten player to win the award was Chase Young of Ohio State in 2019.

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