With SEC Media Days upon us, this means the college football season has reached its unofficial beginning of the season. This means that most of the coveted award watch lists are starting to surface.
Indiana senior linebacker Tegray Scales has been named to the Bednarik Award Watch List for the 2017 season.
The Bednarik Award is annually given to the best defensive player in all of college football, one of the most prestigious awards in the country. The award is named after College Football and NFL Hall of Famer Chuck Bednarik.
The watch list contains more than 80 talented defensive players across the county. The list will be trimmed down to the semifinalists on Oct. 30, and the three finalists will be revealed on Nov. 20. Lastly, the winner will be announced at the Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Dec. 17, after the conclusion of the regular season.
The accolades have become routine for the All-American linebacker. Last season, SI.com named Scales second-team All-American, marking the fourth consecutive year IU has had an All-American. He was also named the 2016 Foster Farms Bowl Defensive Player of the game after tallying 10 tackles, two sacks, and three tackles for loss against the Utes.
Throughout the entire season, Scales led the entire country in solo tackles (93) and tackles for loss (25).
Scales also led the Big Ten in tackles (126), which was good enough for 10th in the nation.
Scales is also one of 42 players to be named to the Lott IMPACT Award Watch List, recognizing the best defender on and off the field. Past winners have gone onto extremely productive NFL careers, such as, JJ Watt, Luke Kuechly and Lance Kendricks.
The Lott IMPACT award is named after four-time Super Bowl champion and ten-time Pro Bowler, Ronnie Lott. The winner is announced in early December at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach, and it has aired on Fox in the past.
Award watch lists have been kind to Hoosiers in the past as IU had six players on multiple watch lists before last season begun, ranging from Simmie Cobbs to Griffin Oakes, both of who are returning to IU.
However, there’s still time for the Hoosiers, the award watch lists are being released daily for the next few weeks. This gives more time for Scales’ teammates to sneak into one or two.
Like what you're reading? Support independent, award-winning college journalism on this site. Donate here.
More in Sports
Langford is the fifth Hoosier in the last 10 years to get the invite.
Fineman is the second player to officially sign a deal.
Here are four sports to pay attention to during the 2019-20 season.