Purdue Defensive End George Karlaftis Named to 2021 Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List

Purdue defensive end George Karlaftis was among 11 Big Ten players named to the 2021 Chuck Bednarik Award watch list. He led the Boilermakers with two sacks and had four total tackles despite limited action on the field last season.
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Maxwell Football Club officially announced the 2021 Chuck Bednarik Award watch list Monday morning. Purdue junior defensive end George Karlaftis was among 11 Big Ten players to make the list.

The Chuck Bednarik Award is presented annually to the most outstanding defensive player in college football. Last year, Tulsa linebacker Zaven Collins was honored with the award.

Karlaftis will enter his third season with the Boilermakers in 2021. He immediately contributed to the defense as a freshman, earning first-team Associated Press Freshman All-American honors. 

In 2019, Karlaftis was third on the team with 54 total tackles, including 30 solo stops. He also registered a team-high 17 tackles for loss and tied the team lead with 7.5 sacks on the year. Karlaftis was proficient with his hands at the line of scrimmage as a freshman, recording two pass deflections and one interception while also adding one forced fumble. 

After his breakout freshman campaign, Karlaftis was also named a second-team All-Big Ten selection.

Karlaftis only started three games in an already shortened 2020 season due to injury the COVID-19 pandemic. He led Purdue with two sacks and had four total tackles in his limited action on the field. Despite missing time, he was a second-team All-Big Ten selection as a sophomore.

Here is the full list of all Big Ten players selected to the Chuck Bednarik Award watch list: 

  • Jake Hansen, LB, Illinois
  • Micah McFadden, LB, Indiana
  • Tiawan Mullen, CB, Indiana
  • Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan
  • Brandon Joseph, S, Northwestern
  • Haskell Garrett, DT, Ohio State
  • Zach Harrison, DE, Ohio State
  • Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State
  • George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue
  • Olakunle Fatukasi, LB, Rutgers
  • Jack Sanborn, LB, Wisconsin
  • DAVID BELL NAMED TO MAXWELL AWARD WATCH LIST: Purdue wide receiver David Bell was among 11 Big Ten players named to the 2021 Maxwell Award watch list. He recorded 53 receptions, 625 yards and eight touchdowns last season for the Boilermakers. CLICK HERE 
  • DREW BREES UNLIKELY TO UNRETIRE: Drew Brees owns some of the most prestigious regular-season passing records in NFL history, but it doesn't appear he will return for the 2021 season. The former Purdue quarterback is preparing for the next stages of his life after retirement. CLICK HERE
  • PURDUE PLAYERS ATTENDING BIG TEN MEDIA DAYS: Purdue will send coach Jeff Brohm and three players to represent the program at the 2021 Big Ten Football Media Days. George Karlaftis, David Bell and Jackson Anthrop will be attending the event. CLICK HERE
  • ESPN RANKS JEFF BROHM'S PLAYING CAREER: Purdue coach Jeff Brohm played five years at Louisville and spent seven seasons in the NFL despite going undrafted. In one season with the XFL's Orlando Rage, Brohm earned first-team all-league honors. CLICK HERE 

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