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Week nine continues with crucial matchups in the SEC, Big 12, ACC, and Big 10. After this week, four weeks remain for players to be named finalists.


Chuck Bednarik/Bronko Nagurski Award

The Chuck Bednarik Award is presented annually to the defensive player in college football.


1. Will Anderson 

Junior, Alabama

  • Week 8 Stats: 4 Tackles, 1 Sack
  • Season Stats: 36 Tackles, 6 Sacks, 1 Interception

2. Daiyan Henley

 Senior, Washington State

  • Week 8 Stats: N/A - Bye Week
  • Season Stats: 68 Tackles, 4 Sacks, 2 FFs, 2 FRs, 1 INT

3. Ivan Pace Jr 

Senior, Cincinnati

  • Week 8 Stats: 9 Tackles, 2 Sacks, 1 PD
  • Season Stats: 71 Tackles, 7 Sacks, 1 FF, 2 PDs

4. Ji'Ayir Brown

 Senior, Penn State

  • Week 8 Stats: 7 Tackles, 1 INT, 1 PD
  • Season Stats: 41 Tackles, 1 Sack, 2 FF, 2 PDs, 3 INTs

5. Clark Phillips III

 Sophomore, Utah

  • Week 8 Stats: N/A - Bye Week
  • Season Stats: 16 Tackles, 1 Sack, 2 PDs, 5 INTs

Will Anderson is Will Anderson. Ivan Pace Jr and Ji'Ayir Brown dominated their competition and closed the gap between #2 and #4. Drew Sanders is a name to watch for this award.

Sep 17, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. (0) reacts after a play against the Miami Redhawks in the second half at Paycor Stadium.

Sep 17, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. (0) reacts after a play against the Miami Redhawks in the second half at Paycor Stadium.


Outland Trophy

The Outland Trophy is awarded to the best college football interior lineman.


1. Daiyan Henley

Junior, Northwestern

2. Jarrett Patterson 

Senior, Notre Dame

3. John Michael Schmitz 

Senior, Minnesota

4. Bryan Bresee

Sophomore, Clemson

5. Steve Avila 

Senior, TCU

The list does not change this week. Peter Skoronski and Jarrett Patterson are unstoppable this year. Skoronski holds a healthy lead over the Irish center, but there is still time for Patterson to close the gap. Bresse is enduring a challenging time, yet he's out there every game making a massive impact for Clemson. Avila continues to rise up on draft boards and finds himself at #5.

Oct 22, 2022; College Park, Maryland, USA; Northwestern Wildcats offensive lineman Peter Skoronski (77) prepares to block against the Maryland Terrapins at SECU Stadium.

Oct 22, 2022; College Park, Maryland, USA; Northwestern Wildcats offensive lineman Peter Skoronski (77) prepares to block against the Maryland Terrapins at SECU Stadium.


Butkus Award

The Butkus Award is given annually to the top linebackers at the high school, collegiate, and professional levels of football.

1. Drew Sanders

 Junior, Arkansas

  • Week 8 Stats: N/A - Bye Week
  • Season Stats: 63 Tackles, 6.5 Sacks, 3 FF, 3 PDs

2. Daiyan Henley

 Senior, Washington State

  • Week 8 Stats: N/A - Bye Week
  • Season Stats: 68 Tackles, 4 Sacks, 2 FF, 1 INT

3. Tyrice Knight

 Senior, UTEP

  • Week 8 Stats: 5 Tackles, 1 PD
  • Season Stats: 64 Tackles, 1 Sack, 2 FF, 1 FR, 2 PDs, 1 INT

4. Tommy Eichenberg

Senior, Ohio State

  • Week 8 Stats: 7 Tackles, 1 INT, 1 PD
  • Season Stats: 57 Tackles, 2.5 Sacks, 2 PDs, 1 INT

5. Jack Campbell

Senior, Iowa

  • Week 8 Stats: 9 Tackles, 1 INT 
  • Season Stats: 71 Tackles, 1 FR, 1 PD
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Drew Sanders is proving himself by leading this Arkansas defense. Jack Campbell and Tommy Eichenberg impressed this week against each other, moving them closer to the top three. Tyrice Knight closed the gap on Daiyan Henley after a solid post-bye-week performance.

Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell reacts after making a tackle against South Dakota State during a NCAA football game on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City.

Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell reacts after making a tackle against South Dakota State during an NCAA football game on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City.


Thorpe Award

The Jim Thorpe Award is presented to the top defensive back in college football.

1. Ji' Ayir Brown

 Senior, Penn State

  • Week 8 Stats: 7 Tackles, 1 INT, 1 PD
  • 2022 Stats: 41 Tackles, 3 PDs, 1 Sack, 3 INTs, 1 FF

2. Gervarrius Owens

 Senior, Houston

  • Week 8 Stats: 5 Tackles, 1 PD 
  • Season Stats: 37 Tackles, 4 PDs, 1 FF, 2 FR, 1 INT

3. Clark Phillips III

 Sophomore, Utah

  • Week 8 Stats: N/A
  • Season Stats: 16 Tackles, 1 Sack, 2 PDs, 5 INTs

4. Jartavius "Quan" Martin

 Senior, Illinois

  • Week 8 Stats: N/A - Bye Week
  • Season Stats: 33 Tackles, 8 PDs, 2 INTs, 2 FFs, 2 FR

5. Gabe Taylor

 Sophomore, Rice

  • Week 8 Stats: 5 Tackles 
  • Season Stats: 32 Tackles, 2 PDs, 2 INTs

Ji'Ayir Brown is having an impressive season for the Nittany Lions and is one of three Penn State players in my top 15 for this award. Owens stays at #2 with solid performances over the past four weeks. Clark Phillips and Jartavius Martin were on a bye last week, allowing Gabe Taylor to close the gap; however, Taylor had an ok week and stayed at #5.

Sep 1, 2022; West Lafayette, Indiana, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions cornerback Joey Porter Jr. (9) and Penn State Nittany Lions safety Ji'Ayir Brown (16) celebrate in the second half against the Purdue Boilermakers at Ross-Ade Stadium.

Sep 1, 2022; West Lafayette, Indiana, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions cornerback Joey Porter Jr. (9) and Penn State Nittany Lions safety Ji'Ayir Brown (16) celebrate in the second half against the Purdue Boilermakers at Ross-Ade Stadium.


Ray Guy Award

The Ray Guy Award is presented annually to college football's most outstanding punter.

1. Bryce Baringer

Senior, Michigan State

  • Week 8 Stats: N/A
  • Season Stats: 30 Punts, 51.4 AVG, 70 Long, 13 In 20

2. Joe Doyle

 Senior, Memphis

  • Week 8 Stats: 4 Punts, 46.3 AVG, 59 Long, 0 In 20
  • Season Stats: 32 Punts, 47.9 AVG, 64 Long, 8 In 20

3. Mason Fletcher

 Sophomore, Cincinnati

  • Week 8 Stats: 3 Punts, 65.0 AVG, 84 Long, 2 In 20
  • Season Stats: 31 Punts, 47.7 AVG, 84 Long, 16 In 20

4. Tory Taylor

 Junior, Iowa

  • Week 8 Stats: 5 Punts, 41.0 AVG, 48 Long, 1 In 20 
  • Season Stats: 46 Punts, 45.6 AVG, 63 Long, 21 In 20

5. Ben Kiernan

 Senior, UNC

  • Week 8 Stats: N/A
  • Season Stats: 21 Punts, 47.6 AVG, 70 Long, 6 In 20.

Bryce Baringer is undoubtedly the best punter this year, averaging over 50 yards per punt, with 13/30 landing inside the 20. Doyle received the nod over Fletcher due to his average punt yards. Fletcher is there and can overtake him soon. Taylor is at #4 as he is the MVP of Iowa football this year and deserves love. South Carolina Punter Kai Kroeger is a name to watch. 

Sep 17, 2022; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks punter Kai Kroeger (39) passes for a first down on a fake punt against the Georgia Bulldogs in the second quarter at Williams-Brice Stadium.

Sep 17, 2022; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks punter Kai Kroeger (39) passes for a first down on a fake punt against the Georgia Bulldogs in the second quarter at Williams-Brice Stadium.