clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Kris Jenkins, Junior Colson named to Bednarik Award watch list

Two of Michigan’s best defensive players getting some much earned preseason recognition.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 03 Big 10 Championship - Michigan vs Purdue Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A pair of Wolverine defenders grabbed some more preseason recognition on Monday. Senior defensive tackle Kris Jenkins and junior linebacker Junior Colson have both been named to the preseason watch list for the Bednarik Award, which is given out annually to the top defensive player in all of college football.

Jenkins and Colson both enjoyed breakout seasons last year for Michigan and will surely be important contributors once again in the team’s effort to return to the College Football Playoff.

In Jenkins’ first full season as a starter last year, he racked up a 54 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss and two sacks. He earned an All-Big Ten honorable mention for his efforts. His athleticism and size (6-foot-3 and 305 pounds) have him in the conversation as a potential first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. He is widely considered one of the best interior defensive linemen in college football.

After making some waves as a freshman in 2021, Colson led the entire team in tackles as a sophomore in 2022 with 101, including six for a loss. His play in his first full season as a starter earned him a second-team All-Big Ten selection from the coaches and a third-team selection from the media.

Since the inception of the Bednarik Award in 1995, Charles Woodson (1997) is Michigan’s lone recipient. The award was won last year by Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr.

Some players around the Big Ten who also made the watch list include Ohio State’s Tommy Eichenberg and J.T. Tuimoloau, Iowa’s Cooper DeJean, and Penn State’s Chop Robinson, Abdul Carter and Kalen King. Former Wolverine Aaron Lewis (Rutgers) also made the cut.