Ohio State fifth-year senior defensive tackle Haskell Garrett and junior defensive end Zach Harrison were both among the 90 players named to the watch list for the Bednarik Award on Monday morning.
Garrett, a former four-star prospect from Las Vegas Bishop Gorman, suffered a gunshot wound to the face last summer but recovered to have a breakout senior season with 20 tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss and two sacks in 2020.
“I just kind of took it game-by-game and was trying to get better,” Garrett said during his media availability on April 9. “It was unexpected, but I had prepared for that my whole career. For the most part, it was, how can I contribute and how can I become a better player for my team?”
Garrett did more than that, though, as earned second-team All-American honors from both the Associated Press and Sporting News. He then opted to return for the extra year of eligibility granted to all student-athletes amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“To me, personally, what I need to improve on is my strength of attack,” Garrett said. “Just kind of enhancing everything. Everybody kind of thinks I had a great season, but with this season, we're going to have 12 games, a full season, so I just need to be prepared – conditioning, strength and all-around need to get better.”
Harrison, meanwhile, is a former five-star prospect from Lewis Center (Ohio) Olentangy Orange. He’s recorded 38 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks and two pass break ups in two seasons with the Buckeyes and is expected to play an even bigger role this fall.
Named for former Penn linebacker Chuck Bednarik, the award is presented annually by the Maxwell Football Club to the best defensive player in college football. Former defensive end Chase Young (2019) is the only Ohio State player to win the Bednarik Award in its 26-year history.
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