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Penn State Football

PSU’s Jaquan Brisker Named a Bednarik Award Semifinalist

If everything goes well for Penn State senior safety Jaquan Brisker, he’s going to need to ask for a new trophy case for Christmas.

Brisker, who has already been named a midseason AP All-American and a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, was named as a semifinalist for the 2021 Bednarik Award — the honor given to college football’s top defensive player.

In eight games this season, Brisker has racked up 36 tackles (25 solo), two interceptions, four passes defended and a fumble recovery. According to Pro Football Focus, he’s accumulated a 77.8 defensive rating (which includes a sparkling 85.5 coverage grade).

Brisker’s 85.5 coverage rating is eighth among FBS safeties that have recorded more than 200 passing snaps this season. He’s allowed just nine receptions for 81 yards on 17 targets this season.

The other semifinalists are Georgia’s Jordan Davis, Texas A&M’s DeMarvin Leal, Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson, Purdue’s George Karlaftis, San Diego State’s Cameron Thomas, Florida State’s Jermaine Johnson II, South Carolina’s Kingsley Enagbare, Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux, Alabama’s Will Anderson, Oklahoma’s Nik Bonitto, Utah’s Devin Lloyd, Georgia’s Nakobe Dean, Wyoming’s Chad Muma, Wisconsin’s Leo Chenal, Cincinnati’s Ahmad Gardner, Auburn’s Roger McCreary and Notre Dame’s Kyle Hamilton.

The winner of the Bednarik Award will be announced during the Home Depot College Football Awards show on Dec. 9 at 7 p.m.

If Brisker were to win, he would join Penn State greats LaVar Arrington and Paul Posluszny (twice) in winning college football’s top defensive honor.

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