MEMPHIS, Tenn–Martin Ifedi, who will begin the 2014 season ranked seventh on NCAA FBS Football’s Active Career Total Sack and Solo Sack lists with 20 and 18, respectively, has been named to the Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List.
The Bednarik Award is named in honor of the College and Pro Football Hall of Famer who played collegiately at Penn and was the first draft pick of the 1949 NFL Draft, selected by the Philadelphia Eagles. He went on to be a 10-time All-Pro selection and was the 1953 Pro Bowl MVP as well as a member of two NFL Championship teams.
The watch list, compiled by the Maxwell Football Club, consists of 76 student-athletes including three finalists from last season. Voters for the award include NCAA head football coaches and members of the Maxwell Football Club as well as sports writers and broadcasters from throughout the country. The Bednarik Award will be presented as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards show broadcast by ESPN in December.
Ifedi, who graduated from the University of Memphis in May, enters his senior year of eligibility on the verge of setting the school record for quarterback sacks. He ranks second all-time in sacks at Memphis with 20, one shy of the school record.
Last year he was named to the American Athletic Conference Team selected by the league’s coaches. He was also recognized as a member of the league’s inaugural All-Academic Football Team following the 2013 season.
Ifedi was recognized as the 2013 winner of the University of Memphis’ Zach Curlin Award, given annually to the school’s top male student-athlete.
Over his playing career, Ifedi has recorded 111 total tackles including 26.5 for lost yardage (-129 yards). He has forced four fumbles, recovered a fumble and broke up two passes at the line of scrimmage. Having played in all 36 games during his career after redshirting in 2010, Ifedi has started 22 games over his career including the Tigers’ last 21 contests.
In 2013, Ifedi led Memphis’ defensive linemen in tackles, finishing with 52 including 14.5 for lost yardage (-73 yards) and 11.5 quarterback sacks (-62 yards). The 11.5 sacks ranks second all-time in school history.