Wisconsin Football: Badgers named to Bednarik Award watch list

MADISON, WI - OCTOBER 15: D'Cota Dixon (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MADISON, WI - OCTOBER 15: D'Cota Dixon (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Two Wisconsin Football defenders were named to the preseason watch list for the prestigious Bednarik Award.

Wisconsin football has become very well known for its defense over the last two years. Two returning veterans on the Badger defense have earned a preseason honor by being named to the watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award.

This year, T.J. Edwards and D’Cota Dixon have been named from the Badgers.

Related Story: Player Spotlight on D'Cota Dixon

The Chuck Bednarik Award is given to the nation’s best defensive player by the Maxwell Football Club, who also hands out the Maxwell Award. Past winners have included names like Minkah Fitzpatrick, Aaron Donald, and Patrick Peterson. Winning such an award would land either Edwards or Dixon in a very elite company.

Edwards and Dixon are probably Wisconsin’s best defenders, so it’s no surprise they would be the Badgers named to this watch list. Edwards finished last season as a first-team All-American. Dixon was named first-team All-Big Ten by the coaches for his play.

As a versatile linebacker, Edwards is tasked with leading a rather inexperienced group. He can do a lot to elevate the defense with his play but his leadership will be what would bring the defense back to an elite level.

Dixon is in a similar role but leads an even more inexperienced group. He’s the lone returning starter in a secondary full of underclassmen.

Edwards and Dixon have the ability to put up the numbers that could land them the award. I assume both would trade that award for team success though. To achieve that, both must be excellent leaders on and off the field. The players around them are impressionable but skilled. They have a great coordinator in Jim Leonhard so all the pieces are there for success.

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The playmaking duo of Edwards and Dixon is one of the best in the country. They should lead the Wisconsin defense to great heights yet again.