(Editor's note: UW Athletics release)
LARAMIE, Wyo. - Wyoming linebacker Chad Muma is a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award presented annually to the outstanding defensive player in college football, the school has announced.
Muma is currently ranked No. 4 in the nation in solo tackles (6.5 per game) and ranked No. 10 in the nation in total tackles (9.8 per game). He is also tied for No. 1 in the nation with two interceptions returned for touchdowns and has recorded double-figure tackles in seven of eight games this season.
The linebacker first made his mark as one of the nation’s top linebackers in 2020. He ranked No. 1 in the Mountain West and No. 3 in the nation in tackles, averaging 11.8 tackles per game. He also ranked No. 16 in the nation in solo tackles, averaging 5.5 per game. Muma was selected First Team All-Mountain West by MW head coaches and media in 2020.
Muma is one of only two Mountain West players named semifinalists for this year’s Chuck Bednarik Award. San Diego State defensive end Cameron Thomas was also selected as a semifinalist.
2021 Chuck Bednarik Award Semifinalists
Chad Muma Wyoming LB Mountain West
Will Anderson Alabama OLB SEC
Roger McCreary Auburn CB SEC
Ahmad Gardner Cincinnati CB AAC
Jermaine Johnson Florida State DE ACC
Jordan Davis Georgia DT SEC
Nakobe Dean Georgia LB SEC
Aidan Hutchinson Michigan DE Big 10
Kyle Hamilton Notre Dame S IND
Nik Bonitto Oklahoma LB Big 12
Kayvon Thibodeaux Oregon OLB PAC 12
Jaquan Brisker Penn State S Big 10
George Karlaftis Purdue DE Big 10
Cameron Thomas San Diego State DE Mountain West
Kingsley Enagbare South Carolina DE SEC
DeMarvin Leal Texas A&M DT SEC
Devin Lloyd Utah LB PAC 12
Leo Chenal Wisconsin LB Big 10
The Chuck Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995 and is named in honor of Chuck Bednarik, a former standout at the University of Pennsylvania and with the Philadelphia Eagles. Bednarik is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame’s Class of ‘69 and the NFL Hall of Fame’s Class of ‘67.
The winner of the 2021 Chuck Bednarik Award will be announced as part of the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on Dec. 9, 2021.
The winners of the 85th Maxwell Award and the 27th Chuck Bednarik Award will be announced as part of the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show which will be broadcast live on ESPN on December 9, 2021. The formal presentation of the Maxwell and Chuck Bednarik Awards will take place at the 85th Maxwell Awards Gala which will be held at Tropicana Atlantic City on Friday March 11, 2022.