The Maxwell Football Club announced Monday, July 10, that K.J. Smith, senior defensive end at Baylor and native of Frisco, has been named to the 2017 Bednarik Award watch list.
The Bednarik Award, named after former standout at Penn and Philadelphia Eagles Chuck Bednarik, has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995. Bednarik is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame's class of '96 and the NFL Hall of Fame's Class of '67.
In 2016, Smith tailed 11.0 tackles for loss and 7.0 sacks while starting all three games for the Bears tying him for the fifth-most sacks in Baylor program history. Smith's plays for Baylor in 2016 set him on route to being an All-Big 12 first team selection by the league's coaches.
Smith has recorded 12.0 sacks, 26.0 tackles for loss and 135 total tackles in his career of 24 starts and 39 total games.
Semifinalists for the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards are to be announced Oct. 30, 2017. The three finalists for each award will be announced Nov. 20, 2017, and the winners of the 2017 Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced during the Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Dec. 7, 2017. Following the announcement of the winners, there will be a formal presentation at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Tropicana Hotel & Casino Atlantic City on March 9, 2018.
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