Three Wolverines, two Spartans on watch list for top defensive honor

The Detroit News
Malik McDowell

Three players from Michigan and two from Michigan State have made the preseason watch list for the Bednarik Award, given to the college Defensive Player of the Year since 1995.

Michigan’s representatives are cornerback Jourdan Lewis, safety / linebacker Jabrill Peppers and end / tackle Chris Wormley.

The MSU players are linebacker Riley Bullough and tackle Malik McDowell.

Lewis, a senior from Detroit Cass Tech, had an All-American season in 2015, with 52 tackles (3.5 for loss) and 20 passes defensed.

Peppers, a junior from Paramus, N.J., had 45 tackles (5.5 for loss) and 10 passes defensed. He also had 18 rushes (two TD), eight receptions, eight kick returns and 17 punt returns.

Wormley had 43 tackles (14.5 for loss) and 6.5 sacks. He is a senior from Toledo.

Bullough, a senior from Traverse City, led the Spartans with 106 tackles. He also had two fumble recoveries, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and two pass breakups.

McDowell had 13 tackles for loss for 54 yards, eight QB hurries and 4.5 sacks. He is a junior from Southfield.

The Bednarik winner last year was Temple linebacker Tyler Matakevich. Michigan cornerback Charles Woodson was the winner in 1997.

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