List of Chuck Bednarik Award Winners by Year

    The Chuck Bednarik Award honors the best defensive player in college football, and the list of winners by year reads like a who's who of greatness.

    Named after one of the hardest-hitting tacklers to ever play the game, the Chuck Bednarik Award honors the best defensive player in college football. It has been awarded annually by the Maxwell Football Club since 1995. Below are the Chuck Bednarik Award winners listed by year, with the most recent winner listed first.

    Chuck Bednarik Award Winners Listed by Year

    • 2023 – Payton Wilson, LB, NC State
    • 2022 – Will Anderson Jr., OLB, Alabama
    • 2021 – Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
    • 2020 – Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
    • 2019 – Chase Young, DE, Ohio State
    • 2018 – Josh Allen, OLB, Kentucky
    • 2017 – Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama
    • 2016 – Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama
    • 2015 – Tyler Matakevich, LB, Temple
    • 2014 – Scooby Wright III, LB, Arizona
    • 2013 – Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
    • 2012 – Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame
    • 2011 – Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU
    • 2010 – Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
    • 2009 – Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
    • 2008 – Rey Maualuga, LB, USC
    • 2007 – Dan Connor, LB, Penn State
    • 2006 – Paul Posluszny, LB, Penn State
    • 2005 – Paul Posluszny, LB, Penn State
    • 2004 – David Pollack, LB, Georgia
    • 2003 – Teddy Lehman, LB, Oklahoma
    • 2002 – E.J. Henderson, LB, Maryland
    • 2001 – Julius Peppers, DE, North Carolina
    • 2000 – Dan Morgan, LB, Miami (FL)
    • 1999 – LaVar Arrington, LB, Penn State
    • 1998 – Dat Nguyen, LB, Texas A&M
    • 1997 – Charles Woodson, CB, Michigan
    • 1996 – Pat Fitzgerald, LB, Northwestern
    • 1995 – Pat Fitzgerald, LB, Northwestern

    Most Chuck Bednarick Winners by Program

    • 4 – Penn State
    • 3 – Alabama
    • 2 – Georgia, LSU, Northwestern
    • 1 – Tulsa, Kentucky, Temple, Arizona, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Nebraska, USC, Oklahoma, Maryland, North Carolina, Miami (FL), Texas A&M, Michigan, NC State

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