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It was announced on Monday that defensive lineman Mazi Smith was named to the Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List.
— Michigan Football (@UMichFootball) August 1, 2022
The Bednarik Trophy is given annually to the best defensive player in the country. The award was established back in 1995, and it’s named after Hall of Fame linebacker Chuck Bednarik. Bednarik was known as a linebacker who played for the Eagles from 1949-1965, but he played both ways full-time in the NFL. He was a two-time NFL champion and a 10-time All-Pro in his NFL career.
The last Michigan player to win this coveted award was defensive back Charles Woodson back in 1997.
Mazi Smith hopes to make himself the second-ever Wolverine to win the award this upcoming season. Last season, Jordan Davis from Georgia took home the honors.
Smith is entering his senior season in Ann Arbor, and he has 14 career starts. He is a three-time letter winner and was an All-Big Ten performer in 2021. Last season, he had 37 tackles and 2.5 sacks.