Two Michigan players made the cut for the Bednarik Award preseason watch list, which goes to the best defensive player in college football.
Defensive end Kwity Paye and cornerback Ambry Thomas represented Michigan on the list.
Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List:— Michigan Football (@UMichFootball) July 13, 2020
〽️ @Tavonn_ 〽️ pic.twitter.com/xSZYXMC72w
There are high expectations for Thomas and Paye, who are arguably among the best in college football at their respective positions.
Thomas had 38 total tackles in 2019 with 3 interceptions. Per Pro Football Focus, “Thomas lined up in press on over 81 percent of his coverage snaps, which was the fourth-highest rate in football, and allowed just a 53.3 passer rating on targets thrown his way in that alignment.”
Paye had 50 total tackles last season (12.5 for loss) with 6.5 sacks with PFF ranking him as the No. 2 returning defensive lineman in the Big Ten behind teammate Aidan Hutchinson. “From my side or Aidan’s side, we’re going to overwhelm you,” Paye said earlier this month. Now it’s like the offense doesn’t get to play its game, they can’t pick on anyone this year.”
Highest graded returning B1G edge defenders:— PFF College (@PFF_College) May 5, 2020
1. Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan - 82.9
2. Kwity Paye, Michigan - 80.9
3. Samdup Miller, Northwestern - 78.6 pic.twitter.com/PlrHo6t7Xd
Here’s the full Bednarik Watch List
The 2020 Chuck Bednarik Award watch list has dropped! pic.twitter.com/IVCJrjhRhi— Maxwell Football (@MaxwellFootball) July 13, 2020