Kayvon Thibodeaux named to Bednarik Prize watchlist
Oregon defensive end Kayvon thibodeaux is on the Chuck Bednarik Award watchlist for the second year in a row, announced by the Maxwell Club on Monday. He was one of nine Pac-12 players named to the watchlist.
For the fifth year in a row, at least one Oregon defenseman has been named to the watchlist – Thibodeaux and Jevon Holland in 2020; Troy dye in 2019; Tincture and Jalen Jelks in 2018; Dye and Jelks in 2017.
Zaven Collins of Tulsa is the reigning Bednarik Award winner. Only two Pac-12 players have earned the honor since it was first awarded in 1995 – USC linebacker Rey Maualuga in 2008 and Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright III in 2014.
Thibodeaux has become one of the best defensive players in the country and one of the best players of the period in the country. The former rookie No.1 in the 2019 cycle already has a brimming list of preseason honors, including Phil Steele’s Defensive Player of the Year, a Lott IMPACT Award Watchlist spot and a selection First-team preseason all-American by many media.
Thibodeaux has been dominant since arriving on campus in 2019, winning the Pac-12 Freshman Defensive Player of the Year award after setting the program’s freshman sack record with nine. That same year, he announced himself to the college football world and helped the Ducks win the Pac-12 championship game against Utah with 2.5 sacks.
Without the shortened 2020 schedule, Thibodeaux would have posted insane numbers, as he recorded 9.5 tackles for loss and 38 tackles in just seven games. He shone again in the Pac-12 title game, as he was crowned MVP of the game after collecting 12 presses from the quarterback, two tackles for loss and a sack.
Thibodeaux has become the face of the Oregon Ducks and has the attention of all NFL teams and scouts. It is widely predicted that he will be the first player selected in the 2021 NFL Draft and be a central part of the turnaround of an NFL franchise.