The fate of the college football season is still to be determined, but award watch season has arrived.
On Monday two Oregon players, sophomore defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux and junior defensive back Jevon Holland, were named to the watch list for the Bednarik Award, presented annually to the nation’s top defensive player.
Thibodeaux was the Pac-12 defensive freshman of the year in 2019 after leading the Ducks with nine sacks. Holland, a Jim Thorpe Award semifinalist, had 66 tackles and four interceptions last season.
Defensive coordinator Andy Avalos’ unit, which ranked ninth in the FBS in points allowed (16.5 per game) and 22nd in yards allowed (329.1 per game) during his first season at Oregon, is expected to be even stronger in 2020.
Both Thibodeaux and Holland are all-American candidates and projected first-round picks in the 2022 and 2021 NFL drafts, respectively.
Oregon State linebacker Hamilcar Rashed Jr. is also on the Bednarik watch list. The redshirt senior led the nation with 22.5 tackles for loss in 2019 and was tied for third with 14 sacks. Both were Oregon State single-season records.
The Ducks were scheduled to begin mandatory team workouts on Monday but the Pac-12 paused the practices indefinitely on Friday and announced the cancellation of its nonconference schedules.
The Pac-12 plans to reveal details of a conference-only scheduling plan by July 31. Commissioner Larry Scott, who has tested positive for COVID-19, has said a contingency plan for moving football to the spring also exists.
Contact reporter Ryan Thorburn at email@example.com or 541-338-2330, and follow him on Twitter @By_RyanThorburn and Instagram @rg_ducksports. Want more stories like this? Subscribe to get unlimited access and support local journalism.