Frank Clark and Jake Ryan named to the watchlist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, which goes to the nation's top defensive player.
Clark and Ryan Named to Bednarik Award Watchlist
half the other defensive players in Div I. Hope Clark can become a demon off the edge though. And I hope Jake is . . . Jake again.
76 players total, including 10 from the Big 10.
*does quick public math in head*
...less than half, yes?
76 guys for one award. Does no one see how this is foolish? What's the word for exaggeration to make a point?
I believe that's called sarcasm.
But no one said they won the award. But being on the preseason watch list is an honor. There were 10 Big Ten players on the list, so this is essentially Clark and Ryan are two of the top 10 defensive players in the league. That's a big deal, right? 20% of the Big Ten nominees are on our team.
There are what, 125 FBS football teams, and each team is allowed 85 scholarship players, right? So, let's just very loosely average that down to say 40 defensive players on each team, which comes out to 5000 defensive players in FBS football. Doing the math, 76/5000 = 0.0152.
So, 1.5% of all defensive players are on this preseason watch list. 1.5%<<<<<<<<<<50%. Even if I'm off in my total defensive players, that percentage is still going to be very low. So, to the "half of all defensive players" comment guy, I know you were exagerrating (drastically), but your intentions of that hyperbole were still in an attempt to make light of being on this watch list. While 76 seems like a big number for this at first, it certainly seems like quite an elite honor to be on it.
Frank Clark does things that I don't notice because I don't notice him doing enough things to be on this list. Maybe this year is his year but it has been a lot of fuss for not very many...... things.
I think the talent has clearly always been there, he just hasn't shown the consistency to become a great player.
I think the teammates are the problem, he doesn't have anyone along the line other than him that teams game plan for..no decent pass rushers to compliment him on the other side, no threat of pressure up the middle ...I think this year he will be very good
Having a very good secondary behind should help as well. Should also allow Mattison to blitz more.
but my feeling is his consistency has more to do with effort. He needs to stop taking a lot of plays off and be more active. He seems to have all the physical tools necessary to be a star player. That being said, I'd also love to see the other guys on the d-line stepping up too.
I get the feeling he's on the list based on reputation versus actual production. Ever since he made that interception for a TD in the Sugar Bowl he's had a reputation as a great athlete. Then, after last off-season's weight gain I think everyone expected him to blossom into a dominant player. Although he certainly improved I still think most expect him to have a pretty good year. This is a kid that should have redshirted, so unfortunately he never did.
You know what is interesting is that I have the same thoughts for Shalique Calhoun from MSU. He is projected to go top 10 in several mock drafts and I really don't get it. They are in the same class, though Calhoun was able to redshirt his first year on campus and Clark was not. Stats from last year:
Clark - 13 TFL, 5 sacks
Calhoun - 14 TFL, 7.5 sacks
Keep in mind that Calhoun had 2.5 sacks and 4 TFL against UM, something Clark was not fortunate enough to be able to do.
One, is that Calhoun is just a RS sophomore. Granted, Clark should have redshirted, but nonetheless, Clahoun still has 3 more years to play so he's considered better, even if exactly the same but younger. Two, he's 6'4". Three, he had good games against UM and OSU so people saw him. And four, MSU/Narduzzi's reputation on defense and the player that preceeded him (Gholston).
And yes, Calhoun being an honest 6'4" (plus good wing span) helps him compared to Clark's 6'2".
I think Calhoun is more consistent right now than Clark, though both IMO have flaws in their games. Calhoun seems a bit longer than Clark, which helps, I think Clark has a better first step but isn't as good after that. Clark is probably a bit better on his bull rush, but really hasn't figured out a counter off of that, either ripping/swimming back inside or fake rip, swim outside. That's hurt his production, and if I had to pick between the two I'd pick Calhoun right now.
That said, from strictly a stats standpoint
Clark: 43 tackles (20 solo), 12.5 TFL (44 yards), 5 sacks (32 yards), 1 FR (for TD), 1 PBU, 7 QB Hurries
Calhoun: 37 tackles (20 solo), 14 TFL (75 yards), 7.5 sacks (45 yards), 2 FR (both for TDs), 1 INT (for TD), 18 QB hurries, 2 FF
So, by that stand, Calhoun has a pretty decent lead. If we look at, say, the last half of the year (last 7 games)
Clark: 28 tackles (12 solo), 7.5 TFL, 1 sack, 2 QB hurries
Calhoun: 24 tackles (11 solo), 7.5 TFL, 3.5 sack, 3 QB hurry, 2 FF
Now the stats are a little closer, though sacks still favors Calhoun (Calhoun and Clark both had good stat lines in the MSU/Michigan game, with Calhoun getting 6 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 2 QB hurries and Clark getting 9 tackles and a QB hurry) stats are a tough indicator for DEs. Players around them can both help and hinder stats (can take away tackles for them being spread out, can open up tackles and sacks by giving you better match ups). So I don't really know what all stock I put into this looking at stats more than just another couple data points. My eyes tell me Calhoun is still a better player (I think a 2nd day draft pick), and if Clark plays consistently through this year he can make himself a mid-round pick. That just goes to show how deep the B1G is at DE though, as you have not only Calhoun and Clark, but Gregory, Bosa, Spence, CJ Olaniyan, Theiren Cockran, Ryan Russell, Deoin Barns, and Marcus Rush who could all honestly get drafted at some point within the next two years.
Thank you for the response. That was very informative. My football knowledge is not close to yours so I really don't know what to look for when watching games/film. For example, when I watch Randy Gregory from Nebraska he looks the part of a top 5/10 NFL pick, but I do not see that with Calhoun (and obviously Clark). Below is a video of every defensive snap of last years UM vs. MSU game and to me, at least, it looks like Calhoun has little to no success any time he was matched up with Lewan or Schofield. He did get a sack while matched up with Schofield, but that one seems as though it was due to Gardner rolling right into Calhoun than Schofield getting beat. But again, thank you for the informative response.
In addition to stats, media plays a big role in perception. Calhoun had a pretty good run to start the season. He scored 2 or 3 TD's on fumble/interception returns in the first few weeks and at one point was outscoring the other teams offense and his own offense. That's the type of thing the media hypes up. When he returned to normal for the rest of the season, the hype train had already been started. As SpaceCoyote pointed out, he also had pretty good stats overall so Calhoun gets the benefit of the doubt.
The story also provides links to the Hornung and Maxwell Award watch lists as well, and at least for the Maxwell Award, which is given to the top offensive player, Michigan does make an appearance. For that award, Devin Funchess and Devin Gardner are on their preseason list of possibilities. The Hornung Award, which is given to the most versatile player, has several Big Ten players (Venric Mark, Shilique Calhoun and Stefon Diggs to name a few) but no entry from Michigan that I could see.
Thanks. I noticed that after I created the post and was debating whether to edit to include the information here or start a new one.
I'm a bit surprised OSUs entire dline isn't on that list. They are going to be absurd this year.
Ahh, watchlists. They were clickbait before the internet was invented. Putting a player on a watchlist pretty much ensures that the award will get a mention in local media, even if the watchlist itself is completely meaningless.
I'd be willing to bet that the last two Heisman winners weren't on any watchlists prior to their winning seasons...
I'm willing to bet that before the season is over, Michigan will have a DB on that watch list as well. Countess, Taylor (is he good?), and Peppers... Yep.
I wouldn't omit Lewis from that list either. I personally think he takes Taylor's job. His spring game was reminiscent of Ryan's a few years before. Countess and Lewis should be a pretty good combo with Peppers in there too.
Good for both. Again, preseason award lists sometimes feel like "guys I've heard of" and not much else, but both Ryan and Clark should have solid final seasons, and who knows?
I hope this is the year Clark can finally put it all together. He's steadily progressed each year, and I think he'll continue to do so again this year, but he hasn't had that dominant year we've all been looking for.
Will he have it this year? I don't know. My gut says he's going to have a good, close to great year (somewhere around 12-15 TFL, 6-8 sacks), but I don't think he'll be the dominant player we're hoping he'll be. I hope he proves me wrong though. Luckily, we've got some good talent across the line with Pip, Henry, Hurst, Poggi, Charlton, and Wormley. And that's not including Mone, but I'm hoping he redshirts.
One thing that bugs me is when people say "So and so hasn't done anything to warrant being on the watch list!" or "So and so hasn't earned the right to wear that jersey number!"
The fact is that players have to be chosen before the year if you're going to do one of these pre-season watch lists, and they have to be given jersey numbers before the year starts. If these guys were already superstars, they probably would have left for the NFL by now. Most of them are upperclassmen, many of them are juniors, and many of them are stepping out of the shadows of other players. For example, Melvin Gordon had to share carries with senior James White last year and ended up with 15 fewer carries. If he were the full-time guy, he might have won the Heisman or the Doak Walker Award.
Devin Gardner, another example, is on the Maxwell Award watch list. No, he's not deserving of the Maxwell Award right now, nor was he last season. But he has the physical ability, the stage, and some pieces around him (such as Doug Nussmeier and Devin Funchess) to help him put up some great numbers and performances. Will he do it? Chances are that he will not, but then again, there are 76 guys on the list, and only 1 guy can win it.