Preseason accolades piling up for Tigers’ Ifedi

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis senior defensive end Martin Ifedi has been included on the initial watch list for the 2014 Bronko Nagurski Trophy. The trophy is presented annually to the best defensive player in America.

A total of 81 student-athletes including 23 defensive ends are on the initial watch list for the Trophy. Players may be added or removed from the watch list during the course of the season. The Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) will choose a Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week each Tuesday throughout the season.

The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists for the 2014 Nagurski Trophy on Nov. 20.

Earlier this week Ifedi was named to the Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List, 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.

Ifedi is coming off a junior season in which he recorded 52 total tackles including 14.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 quarterback sacks.

The Houston native has begun post-graduate studies after earning his bachelor’s degree from the University of Memphis in May. This spring he received the Zach Curlin Award, given annually to Memphis’ top male student-athlete.