Clemson junior defensive end Christian Wilkins is on the watch list for the Maxwell Award and the Bednarik Award.
Wilkins was the only Tiger on the watch list for the Maxwell Award, which goes to college football's player of the year. The Bednarik Award goes to college football's defensive player of the year.
In 2016, Wilkins was named a first-team All-American by the AFCA, Football Writers Association and Phil Steele. He was named a second-team All-American by several publications including USA Today. The Springfield, Massachusetts native recorded 56 tackles, 13 for loss and 3.5 sacks. He has had 20 quarterback pressures and set a Clemson record for a defensive end with 10 passes broken up.
Wilkins, who is listed as 6-4, 310 pounds, proved his versatility by playing defensive tackle as a freshman, but moving to defensive end as a sophomore for Clemson's run to the national championship. Against Alabama, Wilkins posted two pass breakups and three pressures.
Wilkins was not the only Tiger to make the watch list for the Bednarik Award. Sophomore defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence is on the list after an outstanding freshman season saw him named ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year and earn Freshman All-America honors by USA Today and ESPN.
The 6-5, 340-pounder from Wake Forest, North Carolina broke the Clemson freshman record with seven sacks, while also recording 9.5 tackles for loss. He was also second on the team with 23 quarterback pressures. In the national championship game against Alabama, Lawrence had four tackles and two quarterback pressures.