As the countdown to the college football season winds down, players from both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are being recognized as potential breakout players nationally at their positions. Earlier this week, the nations best received word that they were among watch lists for their positions, with the Thorpe Award, the Butkus Award, and the Bednarik Award coming into focus in the Sooner State.
Oklahoma State’s best defensive back, A.J. Green, has been selected to the Thorpe Award Watch List, with the award given to the nations best defensive back. Green enters his senior year for OSU after being named 2nd Team All-Big 12 last season, acquiring 49 tackles and getting 11 pass breakups as well.
Another standout on Oklahoma State’s defense is a member of the Butkus Award Watch List, Calvin Bundage. The rising senior enters his final season of college football after an Honorable Mention Big 12 season a year ago, picking up 62 tackles along the way. The Butkus Award is given to the nations top linebacker every season.
The final member of the nations watch lists is none other than Oklahoma’s Kenneth Murray, who was named to both watch lists for the Butkus and the Bednarik Award, given annually to the nations top overall defensive player. Murray dazzled Sooners fans in his sophomore season, leading the OU defense with 155 tackles and 13 tackles for loss. Murray had more tackles than any other Oklahoma player since 2007, and has already been chosen by Big 12 media as the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year in the conference. Murray is seeking to become the fourth Oklahoma player to ever win the Butkus Award, and first since 2003 (Teddy Lehman).