Linebacker Micah McFadden and corner Tiawan Mullen are getting used to appearing on the various preseason honor rolls that dot the preseason landscape. For offensive tackle Matthew Bedford, however, this is unmapped territory.
Bedford made his first appearance of Watch List SZN on Tuesday, seeing his name listed as a preseason contender for the Outland Trophy, which recognizes the sport’s top interior lineman on offense or defense.
The junior started all seven games in which he appeared at right tackle in 2020, finishing the year as the highest-graded run blocking tackle in the Big Ten, according to Pro Football Focus. He also contributed to an Indiana front that led the Big Ten in fewest sacks allowed per game (1.25).
McFadden and Mullen, meanwhile, received their second watch list honor of the week on Tuesday, receiving spots on the honor roll for the Bronko Nagurski Award, which goes to the best defensive player in college football. McFadden and Mullen each received All-America status in 2020 while helping to lead the Hoosiers to six wins during the shortened Big Ten season. McFadden led the Big Ten with six sacks, while pacing IU with 58 tackles, 44 solo stops and 10.5 tackles for loss. Mullen, IU’s Defensive Player of the Year, led all conference defensive backs with 3.5 sacks and 4.5 tackles for loss. His three interceptions tied for sixth in the league.
Here’s the full rundown of IU’s preseason watch list selections:
Outland Trophy: Matthew Bedford
Nagurski Trophy: Micah McFadden, Tiawan Mullen
Jim Thorpe Award: Tiawan Mullen
Butkus Award: Micah McFadden
Mackey Award: Peyton Hendershot
Biletnikoff Award: Ty Fryfogle
B1G Preseason Honors: Michael Penix Jr.
Doak Walker Award: Stephen Carr
Davey O’Brien Award: Michael Penix Jr.
Bednarik Award: Micah McFadden, Tiawan Mullen
Maxwell Award: Ty Fryfogle, Michael Penix Jr.
Dodd Trophy: Tom Allen