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Wolfpack linebacker Wilson named to Bednarik Watch List

Wolfpack linebacker Wilson named to Bednarik Watch List

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N.C. State linebacker Payton Wilson (11) sacks Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman (10) during the second half of N.C. State's 45-42 victory over Wake Forest at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, N.C, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020.

NC State fourth-year linebacker Payton Wilson has been named to the watch list for the 27th annual Chuck Bednarik Award, which is presented to the outstanding defensive player in college football. Wilson led the Atlantic Coast Conference in tackles last season.

Wilson, a Hillsborough, N.C., native, ranks third among returning ACC players in career tackles and second among all returning Power 5 linebackers in tackles at or behind the line of scrimmage in 2020 with 25. A first-team All-ACC performer in 2020 on both the AP and the official league teams, he ranked fourth in the FBS in overall tackles, 13th in tackles per game.

He was a Three-time ACC Linebacker of the Week and leads all returning ACC players (eighth in the Power 5) in pressure rate with a 17.6% mark (among players with at least 75 pass rush snaps in 2020) according to ESPN.

Named in honor of Chuck Bednarik, a former standout with the Philadelphia Eagles, the award is sponsored by Mammoth Tech and The Athletes’ Corner, which are Executive Partners of the Maxwell Football Club


NC State third-year running back Zonovan “Bam” Knight has been named to the preseason watch list for the 85th Maxwell Award, which is presented annually to the outstanding player in college football.

The Maxwell Award has been presented to the College Player of the Year since 1937 and is named in honor of Robert “Tiny” Maxwell, who was a former standout at the Swarthmore College and a renowned sports writer and football official.

Knight currently posts the top yards per carry average in Wolfpack career history with 5.49 yards per attempt. A first-team Athlon preseason All-ACC choice at running back and kick returner, he ranks third among all returning ACC players in career all-purpose yards (2,043) and rushing yards (1,533). He has led the team in rushing each of the past two seasons.

Semifinalists for the Maxwell Award will be announced November 1, 2021, while the three finalists for the Maxwell Award will be unveiled November 22, 2021. The winner will be announced as part of the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on December 9, 2021. The formal presentations of the Maxwell Award will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Tropicana Hotel & Casino Atlantic City on March 11, 2022.


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