The Bednarik Award is presented to the nation's top defensive player since 1995. A former standout at Penn and with the Philadelphia Eagles, Chuck Bednarik 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.
The senior linebacker from New Orleans, La., Williams, led the team in tackles for the second consecutive season in 2010 with 92 total stops. His tackle numbers included a team-best 14.5 tackles for loss and three sacks.
Williams added an interception and a forced fumble to help lead the Golden Eagles to their ninth-straight bowl appearance and school-record tying 17th straight winning season.
As for Hrapmann, another New Orleans, La., product, the place kicker broke 10 Golden Eagle records last season to get a Watch List nod for the Groza Award, awarding the top collegiate place kicker in the country.
The Groza Award is named for National Football League Hall of Fame kicker Lou "The Toe" Groza, who played 21 seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Groza won four NFL championships with Cleveland and was named NFL Player of the Year in 1954. Although an "All Pro" offensive lineman, Groza ushered in the notion that there should be a place on an NFL roster for a kicker.
Hrapmann finished his junior campaign by converting all 55 extra points and making 26-of-31 field goals. He added a school-record five field goals against East Carolina and his season point total of 133 also established a school mark.
The others records included season marks for most extra points made (55), most extra points attempted (55), consecutive extra points made (55) and highest extra points percentage (100 percent with the most ever attempted), most field goals made in a season (26) and most attempts (31), to go along with game records for most points (19 vs. ECU), and highest career percentage of 78.9 percent (30-of-38).
Semifinalists for the Bednarik Award will be announced Oct. 31, and the three finalists for each award will be unveiled Nov. 21. The winner will be announced as part of the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show held on December 8th. The formal presentation of these awards will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Harrah's Entertainment Atlantic City on March 2, 2012.
The Bednarik Watch List candidates have been chosen by the Maxwell Football Club's selection committee, evaluating past performance and future potential.
The Club reserves the right to make additions and deletions to these lists as the 2011 season unfolds. All members of the Maxwell Football Club, NCAA sports information directors, head coaches, and selected national media are eligible to vote for the awards.
The 20th Annual Groza Collegiate, presented by the Orange Bowl Committee, recognizes the three finalists during an early week celebration in Palm Beach County, culminating with a gala awards banquet on Dec. 6, prior to joining ESPN in Orlando.
Accomplishments are tabulated throughout the season and the Groza Award announces its 20 semifinalists on Friday, Oct. 28. From this list, a panel of over 300 experts selects the top three finalists for the award by Mon., Nov. 21. That same group then selects the national winner, which will also be announced during the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Award Show, broadcast live from Orlando, Fla.
The Bednarik and Groza Awards are members of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game's predominant awards.
The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients. For more information, visit the association's official website, ncfaa.org.