Duff Tittle | Posted: 31 Jul 2022 | Updated: 9 Aug 2022

Pili named to Chuck Bednarik Award watch list

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Bednarik Watch List Keenan Pili

SOUTHAMPTON, Pa. — The Maxwell Football Club today named BYU linebacker Keenan Pili to the watch list for the 28th annual Chuck Bednarik Award.

Since 1994, the Bednarik Award has been presented to the defensive player of the year in college football. The award is named after Chuck Bednarik, former standout at Penn and with the Philadelphia Eagles, who is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Hall of Fame. 

Pili, a 6-3, 233-pound junior from Provo, Utah, started the first three games of the 2021 season at middle linebacker for BYU before suffering a season-ending injury. The 2021 team captain had recorded 31 tackles, two sacks and a fumble recovery in just three games. Pili has 128 career tackles over 24 career games, an average of 5.3 tackles per game. 

In 2020, Pili was named Phil Steele All-Independent Second Team and was the Boca Raton Bowl Defensive MVP following BYU’s 49-23 win over UCF. He was second on the team in tackles with 72, had two tackles for loss and recorded a fumble, helping lead BYU to 11-1 record in 2021 and No. 11 final ranking, the program's highest final ranking since 1996. 

Semifinalists for the Chuck Bednarik Award will be announced on Nov. 1, with the three finalists being unveiled on Nov. 22. The winner will be announced as part of the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on Dec. 8. The formal presentations of the Chuck Bednarik Award will be made at the 86th Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala live from Atlantic City, New Jersey, on March 10, 2023.

The Maxwell Football Club has partnered with Pro Football Focus, XOS and Phil Steele Publications as selection committee partners. PFF provides detailed metrics and performance-based assessments to the selection committee staff while XOS offers access to game footage from all the FBS schools.

The Maxwell Football Club was founded in 1935 and is the oldest football organization of its kind in America. The Club recognizes excellence in performance at the high school, collegiate and professional levels of the game.