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WVU safety Karl Joseph named to Bednarik watch list

Photo Credit: Kelsie VanderWijst
Photo Credit: Kelsie VanderWijst

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.—West Virginia Mountaineers’ safety Karl Joseph was named to the watch list for the 21st annual Bednarik Award, as announced by the Maxwell Football Club on Tuesday.

The Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995. Chuck Bednarik was a former football standout with Penn. He went on to be a star in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles, and is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame and the NFL Hall of Fame.

Joseph recorded 92 tackles with 4.5 tackles for loss, one interception and three forced fumbles for the Mountaineers during the 2014 campaign. The 5’11”, 197-pound senior was an All-Big 12 selection in 2014, his first year at safety. He played cornerback his first two seasons at WVU.

“I consider Karl a throwback to the days of hard-nosed football when fundamentals were at the forefront and every player wanted to learn and get them right,” WVU defensive coordinator Tony Gibson said. “He comes to practice every day with the goal to improve. He wants to win football games and prepares for hours each week no matter the opponent and is never afraud to ask what he did wrong or how he can improve to be a better player, leader and teammate.

“This is a good honor for Karl as he prepares for his senior season. His work ethic has paid off. He is always around the ball and each of the past three years, he has been among our leaders in tackles, big plays and consistency. I love his competitive spirit, but i also admire hus work ethic as a student and being a good teammate.”

Semifinalists for the Bednarik Award will be announced on November 2, 2015, and three finalists will be unveiled on November 23, 2015.

The winners of the 2015 awards will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards show held on December 10, 2015.  The awards will be aired live on ESPN at the College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience in downtown Atlanta.

The award’s watch list is headlined by 2014 winner Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright and features six of last season’s semifinalists, including the 2014 runner up Joey Bosa, an Ohio State defensive end.  Michigan State defensive end Shilique Calhoun, Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III, Baylor defensive end Shawn Oakman and Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith are the other former semifinalists on the watch list.

The watch list candidates are chosen by the Maxwell Football Club’s selection committee, which analyzes both past performances and future potential. The club can add candidates and remove them as the 2015 football season unfolds. Members of the Maxwell Football Club, NCAA sports information directors, FBS head coaches and selected members of the national media are eligible to vote for the awards.

Shanna Rose
WVU Graduate with a bachelor's in journalism and multimedia journalist. Sports Fan and sports writer. Former WVU News reporter. Contact Shanna on Twitter @SMR1837
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