No one had a better week defensively in all of college football than Drew Sanders. The Arkansas linebacker put in a massive showing in a win over South Carolina.
For his efforts, Sanders was named the Bednarik Award Player of the Week by the Maxwell Football Club. He was one of six players to be named by the Maxwell Football Club to their weekly honor roll.
The Maxwell Football Club awards the Chuck Bednarik Award for the top defensive player in college football. Last season, Georgia’s Jordan Davis was the recipient of the Bednarik Award.
Every March, the club hosts an annual awards gala at the Harrah’s in Atlantic City, N.J. where the winners of the Maxwell Award (for the nation’s top player) as well as the Bednarik Award are honored.
Check out the six players who made this week’s Bednarik Award Weekly Honor Roll!
LB Drew Sanders, Arkansas
South Carolina running back Juju McDowell (21) is tackled by Arkansas linebacker Drew Sanders (42) during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)
In keying the Razorbacks solid win over South Carolina, Sanders did a little bit of everything. In fact, he did a little bit of everything really, really well. He had 11 tackles, two sacks, three tackles for a loss and two forced fumbles along with a pass defended. The Alabama transfer was the Bednarik Award Player of the Week for his all-around strong showing.
LB Jacoby Windmon, Michigan State
Michigan State linebacker Jacoby Windmon (4) blocks a pass from Akron quarterback Jeff Undercuffler Jr. (13) during the second half at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022.
Get used to hearing Windmon’s name a lot this year. In a blowout win against Akron, Windmon had five tackles and 1.5 sacks, part of an impressive start that included four sacks a week ago in the Spartans’ season opener.
DE Derek Parish, Houston
Sep 10, 2022; Lubbock, Texas, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders offensive lineman Caleb Rogers (76) prepares to block Houston Cougars defensive end Derek Parish (0) in the first half at Jones AT&T Stadium and Cody Campbell Field. Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
In a losing effort, Parish stood out as a wrecking ball. He had 10 total tackles including four sacks for Houston in their loss at Texas Tech. Parish played with his hair of fire for Houston.
LB Ben Bywater, BYU
Sep 10, 2022; Provo, Utah, USA; Baylor Bears wide receiver Hal Presley (16) catches a pass against Brigham Young Cougars linebacker Ben Bywater (2) in the first half at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Gabriel Mayberry-USA TODAY Sports
The sophomore played huge in the Cougars’ win over top 10 Baylor. He had one sack along with 11 tackles and 1.5 tackles for a loss in a statement win for BYU.
DL Michael Hall, Ohio State
Sep 3, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes defensive tackle Michael Hall Jr. (51) celebrates after sacking Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Tyler Buchner (not pictured) in the fourth quarter at Ohio Stadium. Kyle Robertson-USA TODAY Sports
The Buckeyes ran out to a 24-9 lead at halftime with a strong pass rush constantly collapsing the pocket. Hall was very effective with one sack and two tackles for a loss.
DB Cobee Bryant, Kansas
Sep 10, 2022; Morgantown, West Virginia, USA; Kansas Jayhawks cornerback Cobee Bryant (2) celebrates after defeating the West Virginia Mountaineers at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium. Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports
In what was an impressive win at West Virginia, Bryant was a huge reason why. He had four tackles along with an 86-yard pick-6 to secure the overtime win for the Jayhawks. A huge play in what might be a program-defining win for head coach Lance Leipold (shameless plug, while at Buffalo, Leipold was a semifinalist for the George Munger College Coach of the Year Award in 2019, given annually by the Maxwell Football Club).