*From Auburn Media Relations*
Philadelphia, Pa. - Auburn senior defensive lineman Dee Ford is among 75 standouts listed on the 2013 preseason watch list for the 19th annual Chuck Bednarik Award, presented by the Maxwell Football Club.
The Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995. Chuck Bednarik, former standout at Penn and with the Philadelphia Eagles, is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame's Class of '69 and the NFL Hall of Fame's Class of '67.
"I'm very surprised to hear that I'm on the Bednarik Award list. This just makes me want to solidify my qualifications and work even harder to show that Auburn should be represented on this list," Ford said.
"It's been a long journey for me and I owe any success to my strength coaches, football coaches, and teammates for being patient with me while I developed. I'm very thankful for this new responsibility and the opportunity we have this season."
Ford, a three-year letterman at defensive end, has emerged as the veteran leader of the new-look Auburn defense under coordinator Ellis Johnson. With 64 career tackles, 13 TFL and 10 career sacks, the senior from Odenville, Ala., is a returning starter on the defensive front and earned preseason all-SEC recognition from Athlon.
Semifinalists will be announced October 29, while the three finalists for the award will be unveiled November 18. The winner will be announced as part of the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show held on December 5. The formal presentations of the Bednarik Award will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Harrah's Entertainment Atlantic City on March 7, 2014.
The watch list candidates have been chosen by the Maxwell Football Club's selection committee, which analyzes both past performance and future potential. The Club reserves the right to make additions and deletions to these lists as the 2013 season unfolds. All members of the Maxwell Football Club, NCAA sports information directors, FBS head coaches and selected national media are eligible to vote for the awards.