The Maxwell Club on Monday announced Clemson linebacker James Skalski has been named to the Bednarik Award preseason watch list. The fifth year senior is one of 90 players named to the watch list for the award that goes to the most outstanding defensive player in college football.
“The Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995 and is named in honor of Chuck Bednarik a former standout at the University of Pennsylvania and with the Philadelphia Eagles. Bednarik is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame’s Class of ’69 and the NFL Hall of Fame’s Class of ’67.”From the Clemson Athletics website
Last season, in his first year as a full-time starter for the Tigers, Skalski finished with 105 tackles. Only Isaiah Simmons had more. That also included 7.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, four pass breakups, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
He started all 15 games and logged 699 snaps, and anchored the Clemson defense. He also earned All-ACC Academic honors in 2019.
Skalski enters 2020 with 166 career tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, 6.0 sacks, four pass breakups, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in 931 snaps over 47 games, 17 of which were starts.