We've reached the point of the summer where the folks who give out college football awards start handing out their watch lists for the upcoming season. Oh how the press releases flood my inbox. First you get the release from the actual award listing every single player on the watch list, and that is followed by releases from each individual school who had a player put ont he watch list.
This process repeats itself about 20 times until my inbox is begging me to just put a bullet in its non-existent head.
Well, coming off a 2-10 season, I wouldn't expect many Illini to show up on a lot of these lists, but one has broken through. The watch list for the Bednarik Award was released on Monday and it includes Illinois linebacker Jonathan Brown.
Now, Jonathan's selection is based more on his 2011 performance and the potential of 2013 than his 2012 season. He played in only nine games last season thanks to injuries and finished with 59 tackles, 9.5 for loss, with 3.5 sacks and a fumble forced. Decent numbers considering the missed games, but not on par with his 2011 numbers of 108 tackles, 19.5 for loss with 6 sacks, a forced fumble, an interception and one knee to the groin.
Whether or not he wins the Bednarik Award -- and he won't, just give it to Jadeveon Clowney right now -- if he can match that production in 2013 and stay healthy, that's all I really care about.