From LSU Sports
PHILADELPHIA – Three LSU football players – defensive tackle Anthony Johnson, linebacker Lamin Barrow and safety Craig Loston – were recognized on the watch list for the Bednarik Award, which is presented annually to college football's National Defensive Player of the Year, the Maxwell Football Club announced on Monday.
Both LSU and Alabama lead the Southeastern Conference with three players on the list. Only six teams nationally have at least three players on the list. LSU is the only school in SEC history to claim multiple Bednarik Awards when Patrick Peterson (2010) and Tyrann Mathieu (2011) won it in back-to-back years.
Johnson, a junior from New Orleans, serves as the Tigers' veteran defensive lineman with 27 games played to his credit. In two seasons, he has recorded 42 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and four sacks. In a reserve role last season, he finished third on the team with 10 tackles for loss.
Barrow, a native of Marrero, La., is LSU's top returning tackler after racking up 104 total tackles as a junior, which ranked second on the squad. He added 7.5 tackles for loss, five quarterback hurries and five pass breakups. He will assume the leadership role on the defensive side of the ball as a senior after the departure of Kevin Minter.
Loston, a senior from Houston, has made several pre-season All-America teams as one of the nation's elite safety prospects. In 35 career games, Loston has notched 91 tackles and six takeaways (four interceptions, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery).
Loston was a second-team All-SEC recipient as a junior after ranking fifth on the team in tackles with 55 and second in interceptions with three. He is one of only three players in school history to return an interception 100 yards for a touchdown as he joined the list in the fourth quarter of a 37-17 blowout win over Mississippi State.
The Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995. Semifinalists for the Bednarik Award will be announced Oct. 29, while the three finalists will be unveiled Nov. 18. The winner of the 2013 Bednarik Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show during the first week of December.