Beasley Earns Spot on Bednarik Award Watch List

Beasley Earns Spot on Bednarik Award Watch List

2023 Bednarik Award Watch List

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Tennessee senior linebacker Aaron Beasley was one of 85 players named to the 2023 Chuck Bednarik Award watch list, as announced by the Maxwell Football Club on Monday afternoon.

The Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1994 and is named in honor of Chuck “Concrete Charlie” Bednarik, who was an All-American player at the University of Pennsylvania and later a multi-year All-Pro linebacker and center for the Philadelphia Eagles. He is a member of both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame and was the last NFL player to be a full-time player on both offense and defense.

This is Beasley’s first time being named to the award’s watch list. He is one of 12 players from the Southeastern Conference to be selected.

The Franklin, Georgia, native is coming off a stellar junior season in which he led the Vols with 76 total tackles and 13 tackles for loss while also notching a career-high three sacks. Beasley finished the year tied for sixth in the SEC in TFLs and ranked second on the team with nine quarterback hurries while also recording three pass breakups.

Beasley was named to the Associated Press’ All-Bowl Team after leading UT’s defense in an impressive win over ACC champion Clemson in the Capital One Orange Bowl. He posted a game-high 12 tackles – 10 solo – with a career-best four tackles for loss and two sacks. His impressive performance tied a Tennessee bowl record for TFLs held by Corey Terry (1997 Citrus Bowl vs. Northwestern) and Reggie McKenzie (1984 Sun Bowl vs. Maryland).

Semifinalists for the Chuck Bednarik Award will be announced on Nov. 13, while the three finalists for the award will be unveiled on Nov. 28. The winner of the 29th Chuck Bednarik Award will be announced as part of the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on Dec. 7. The formal presentations of the Bednarik Award will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards in March 2024.

To view the full Bednarik Award watch list, click HERE.

A complete list of Tennessee’s preseason honors can be found below.

2023 Tennessee Football Preseason Honors

Sr. DE Tyler Baron
All-SEC Fourth Team (Athlon)

Sr. LB Aaron Beasley
Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List
All-SEC Third Team (Athlon)

Sr. OL Cooper Mays
Rimington Trophy Watch List
All-SEC Third Team (Media)
All-SEC Fourth Team (Athlon, Phil Steele)

Sr. WR Bru McCoy
All-SEC Second Team (Athlon, Media, Phil Steele)

Sr. QB Joe Milton III
Walter Camp Player of the Year Watch List
Davey O’Brien Award Watch List
Maxwell Award Watch List
All-SEC Third Team (Media, Phil Steele)

Sr. RB Jabari Small
Doak Walker Award Preseason Candidate List

Sr. OL Javontez Spraggins
All-SEC Third Team (Media)

R-Sr. TE Jacob Warren
Mackey Award Watch List
Wuerffel Trophy Watch List
Allstate AFCA Good Works Team Nominee

So. WR Squirrel White 
All-SEC Fourth Team (Athlon)

Sr. RS Dee Williams
All-American Fourth Team (Phil Steele)
All-SEC Third Team (Athlon, Phil Steele)

Jr. RB Jaylen Wright
Doak Walker Award Preseason Candidate List
All-SEC Fourth Team (Athlon)

-UT Athletics

Vols LB Aaron Beasley / Credit: UT Athletics

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