Ohio State football: Chances Garrett or Harrison win Bednarik

The Ohio State football team should have a strong defensive line this season. Two of its best players have been put on the preseason watch list for the Bednarik Award. Here are their chances of winning.

If December is awards season in college football, July is awards watch list season. Over the next ten days or so, sixteen awards will announce their list of players to keep an eye on. The Bednarik Award has named a couple of Ohio State defensive players to its list.

Defensive tackle Haskell Garrett and defensive end Zach Harrison are on the list of nearly ninety players. The Bednarik Award, which is given out by the Maxwell Football Club, recognizes the outstanding defensive player in college football.

Garrett, a senior, surprised many when he announced he would return for his final season with the Buckeyes. An All-American in 2020, he’s played in 41 games in his Ohio State football career and has 6 ½ tackles-for-loss, two sacks, and one memorable interception for a touchdown against Michigan State. His strength, quickness, and athleticism have turned him into a disruptive force in the middle of the Buckeye defense.

Harrison is a junior who many are projecting as a first-round draft choice next spring. Big things have been expected from him since he signed with Ohio State as the second-rated pass rusher in the country. In just 21 games he already has 9 ½ tackles for loss and 5 ½ sacks. He should add greatly to those totals this year.

Of the two, Harrison has the better chance to make a run at winning the award. It is very difficult for interior defensive lineman such as Garrett to make the type of plays that get you noticed for awards like this. If Harrison has the type of season he appears capable of, he could easily find himself named as a finalist.

The Buckeyes will face a total of eight players from this watch list. That group is led by defensive ends Kayvon Thibodeaux of Oregon and Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson. Thibodeaux is expected to be taken in the top five of the 2022 NFL Draft. Hutchinson is also expected to be a first-round pick.

The Bednarik Award was created in 1995. Chase Young in 2019 is the only Ohio State player to win the award. Look for a plethora of Buckeyes to be named to the watch lists of various awards in the coming days.