The Chuck Bednarik Award

THE BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL


2019 Bednarik Award Winner:  Chase Young

Chase Young capped off his impressive tenure with the Ohio State Buckeyes with a remarkable 2019 season. Chase recorded 46 tackles (21 for a loss), 16.5 sacks and 7 forced fumbles – and was named Big 10 Male Athlete of The Year.

Bednarik Award Quick Facts

The Chuck Bednarik Award is presented to the best defensive player in college football.


  • The award is named after Chuck Bednarik, who was a 2x NFL Champion and 10x 1st Team All-Pro Linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1949-1962
  • Chuck was the last player in NFL history to play both ways of the ball full time
  • Chuck is also a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame
  • The Chuck Bednarik Award was established in 1995

Double Recipients

Paul Posluzny (2005, 2006) and Pat Fitzgerald (1995,1996) are the only players to have won the award twice.

ESPN Featured Award

The Bednarik Award is one of the two Maxwell Football Awards that is featured on the ESPN College Football Awards Show.

Bednarik Award Recipients

Since 1995

  • 2019 - Chase Young, Ohio State University
  • 2018 - Josh Allen University of Kentucky 
  • 2017 - Minkah Fitzpatrick, University of Alabama 
  • 2016 - Jonathan Allen, University of Alabama 
  • 2015 - Tyler Matakevich, Temple University 
  • 2014 - Scooby Wright III, University of Arizona 
  • 2013 - Aaron Donald, University of Pittsburgh 
  • 2012 - Manti T’eo, University of Notre Dame 
  • 2011 - Tyrann Mathieu, LSU 
  • 2010 - Patrick Peterson, LSU 
  • 2009 - Ndamukong Suh, The University of Nebraska 
  • 2008 - Rey Maualuga, The University of Southern California 
  • 2007 - Dan Connor, The Pennsylvania State University 
  • 2006 -Paul Posluzny, The Pennsylvania State University 
  • 2005 - Paul Posluzny, The Pennsylvania State University 
  • 2004 - David Pollack, The University of Georgia 
  • 2003 - Teddy Lehman, University of Oklahoma 
  • 2002 - E.J. Henderson, The University of Maryland 
  • 2001 - Julius Peppers, The University of North Carolina 
  • 2000 - Dan Morgan, The University of Miami, Florida 
  • 1999 - LaVar Arrington, The Pennsylvania State University 
  • 1998 - Dat Nguyen, Texas A&M University 
  • 1997 - Charles Woodson, The University of Michigan 
  • 1996 - Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern University 
  • 1995 - Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern University