Indiana sophomore cornerback Tiawan Mullen is firmly on the national radar.
IU announced on Monday that Mullen has been named to the Bednarik Award preseason watch list after a breakout 2019 freshman campaign. The Bednarik Award is presented annually to the outstanding defensive player in college football. Below is the full release from IU Athletics.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana sophomore cornerback Tiawan Mullen has earned a spot on the watch list for the 26th annual Chuck Bednarik Award, presented annually to the outstanding defensive player in college football. The Maxwell Football Club announced the honorees today and Mullen is one of just 11 sophomores on the list.
Mullen was named a first-team Freshman All-American by The Athletic and a first-team True Freshman All-American by 247Sports in 2019. He also garnered a second-team Pro Football Focus All-Freshman Team nod.
An honorable-mention All-Big Ten selection, Mullen led the conference, finished second among freshmen nationally and shared 11th in the country with 13 pass breakups. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native tied for the team lead with two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries (T-4th in the Big Ten, T-27th nationally)
IU’s Defensive Newcomer of the Year added 29 tackles, 3.5 for loss, in 13 games (8 starts). Mullen broke up four passes at No. 25 Michigan State and in the regular-season finale victory at Purdue. He also posted career-highs with eight stops, six solos and 2.5 TFLs with one fumble recovery and one forced fumble against the Boilermakers.
The Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995 and is named in honor of Chuck Bednarik, a former standout at the University of Pennsylvania and with the Philadelphia Eagles. Bednarik is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame’s Class of ’69 and the NFL Hall of Fame’s Class of ’67.
Semifinalists for the Bednarik Award will be announced Nov. 3, 2020, while the three finalists for the Bednarik Award will be unveiled Nov. 23, 2020. The winner of the 2020 Bednarik Award will be announced as part of the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on Dec. 10, 2020. The formal presentation of the award will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Tropicana Hotel & Casino Atlantic City on March 12, 2021.
The members of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) are unveiling their preseason watch lists over a 12-day period this month. Seventeen of the association’s 25 awards select a preseason watch list and the NCFAA has spearheaded a coordinated effort to promote each award’s preseason candidates.
Following is the entire 2020 preseason watch list calendar:
Monday July 13: Chuck Bednarik Award
Tuesday July 14: Davey O’Brien Award
Wednesday July 15: Doak Walker Award
Thursday July 16: Biletnikoff Award
Friday July 17: Mackey Award
Monday July 20: Jim Thorpe Award
Tuesday July 21: Outland Trophy & Nagurski Award
Wednesday July 22: Groza Award & Ray Guy Award
Thursday July 23: Hornung Award & Wuerffel Trophy
Friday July 24: Maxwell Award
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