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Ohio State’s Zach Harrison, Ronnie Hickman On Bednarik Award Watch List

Former defensive end Chase Young is the only player in school history to win the award, which is given to college football's best defensive player.

Ohio State defensive end Zach Harrison and safety Ronnie Hickman were named on Monday to the preseason watch list for the Bednarik Award, which is presented annually to the best defensive player in college football. 

Harrison, a senior from nearby Lewis Center, Ohio, recorded 34 tackles, eight tackles for loss, four sacks, four pass break ups and two forced fumbles in 12 games for the Buckeyes last season. He is one of three returning team captains, joining wide receiver Kamryn Babb and linebacker Teradja Mitchell.

Hickman, meanwhile, totaled a team-leading 100 tackles – including 54 solo stops – and two interceptions last season. The redshirt junior from South Orange, N.J., recently represented Ohio State at Big Ten Media Days alongside quarterback C.J. Stroud and wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

This marks the third preseason honor for Harrison, who was also named this preseason to the watch lists for the Lott IMPACT Trophy and Nagurski Trophy. The same goes for Hickman, who was named to the watch list for the Nagurski Trophy and Thorpe Award.

Former defensive end Chase Young (2019) is the only player in school history to win the award, which is named after former Penn linebacker Chuck Bednarik, who is a member of the College and Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Semifinalists for the award will be announced on Nov. 1, while three finalists will be announced on Nov. 22. The winner will be revealed as part of the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards show on Dec. 8.


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