Auburn senior defensive end Quentin Groves has been named to the 13th annual Chuck Bednarik Award watch list, the Maxwell Football Club announced Monday. The Bednarik Award is given annually to the nation's best defensive player.
Groves, a Greenville, Miss., native, posted a team-leading 9.5 sacks and 12 tackles for loss in 2006. He finished with 37 tackles and earned Coaches and Associated Press All-SEC First Team honors and was a Rivals.com Third-Team All-American.
One of 65 players on the watch list, Groves, who is three sacks away from tying Auburn's career record of 26, took home the SEC's Defensive Player of the Week award after finishing with three sacks and two quarterback hurries in the Tigers' 27-17 win over Florida on Oct. 14.
He followed that up with Defensive Lineman of the Week honors after two first-half sacks and subsequent forced fumbles in Auburn's 22-15 defeat at Alabama to end the regular season.
The Bednarik Award watch list is the second honor of the offseason for Groves, who was named to the Bronko Nagurski Award watch list on June 12.
Semifinalists for the Bednarik Award will be announced in early November and three finalists for the award will be announced on Nov. 26. The winner of the 2007 award will be announced as part of the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards show on Dec. 6.
The formal presentation of the award will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Harrah's Entertainment Atlantic City in March 2008.