Soccer | August 1
DeKALB, IL – Sophomore safety CJ Brown (Canton, Mich./Walled Lake Western HS) has been named to the watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award as announced by the Maxwell Football Club on Monday morning.
The Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1994. It is named in honor of Chuck Bednarik, an All-American at Penn and later played both linebacker and center for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League. Bednarik is a member of both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame.
This is the third watch list Brown has been placed on this preseason. Last week the sophomore was named to both the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award watch list for the nation’s top defensive back, as well as the Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list. Brown as a first team All-Mid-American Conference selection in 2021 after leading NIU with 109 tackles. He had double-digit stops in four games, including NIU’s 41-23 win in the MAC Championship over Kent State where he was the Defensive Player of the Game with 10 tackles, a sack, and a 26-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Brown is one of 90 players on the Bednarik Award watch list. He is one of five MAC players on the list joining Bowling Green’s Darren Anders, Buffalo’s James Patterson, Jose Ramirez of Eastern Michigan and Jamal Hines from Toledo. Semifinalists for the Chuck Bednarik Award will be announced on November 1 with the three finalists being unveiled on November 22.
Seven Huskies have been named to national award watch lists this summer. Wide Receiver Trayvon Rudolph (Crete, Ill./Crete-Monee HS) is on the Biletnikoff Award and Paul Hornung Award watch lists. Linebacker Nick Rattin (Palatine, Ill./Palatine HS) is a nominee for the AllState Good Works Team and is on the Wuerffel Trophy watch list. Offensive Tackle Nolan Potter (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Washington HS) is on the Outland Trophy list while running backs Ontario Brown (Savannah, Ga./Beach HS) and Harrison Waylee (Johnston, Iowa/Urbandale HS) were picked to the Doak Walker Award list. Kicker John Richardson (Orland Park, Ill./Brother Rice) is on the Lou Groza Award watch list.
“Being named to these lists speaks volumes about what those guys were able to accomplish last season,” said head coach Thomas Hammock. “This also gives our young guys something to shoot for. It increases the level of competition in practice and helps avoid complacency. That is something that will make us better in the long run.”
NIU opens the 2022 season versus Eastern Illinois set for Thursday, September 1 at Huskie Stadium. Tickets for the upcoming NIU football and volleyball seasons are on sale now. Season tickets offer the best value, with football tickets priced as low as $15 per ticket with the Huskie Plan. Mini-Plans and single game tickets are also now on sale. See all the pricing options online here. To purchase season tickets or mini-plans anytime, CLICK HERE or call 815-753-PACK (7225) Monday through Friday.