Junior safety Jalen Thompson was named to the 2018 Bednarik Award Watch List on Monday when the Maxwell Club announced their list of 84 candidates. The award is given annually to the best defensive player in college football and is named after linebacker Chuck Bednarik.
Thompson has become a force in the Cougars secondary ever since stepping foot on campus. As a freshman in 2016 he was named to ESPN’s True-Freshman All-America Team when he led the team with pass breakups with 7 and tallied 51 total tackles.
Jalen Thomson named to the 2018 @BednarikAward Watch List for the nation's college defensive player of the year!— WSU Cougar Football (@WSUCougFB) July 16, 2018
Release - https://t.co/gaK8V2dGKV#GoCougs #JoinTheHunt pic.twitter.com/bTEFiKOd6L
Last season he was named to the AP All-Pac-12 first team and to the Pac-12 second team by the conference. He is considered one of the best safeties in the conference next year after he led the team last season with 73 tackles, was fourth in the conference with four interceptions, and was tied for fumble recoveries in the conference with three.
Thompson is joined by Oregon’s Jalen Jelks and Troy Dye, Stanford’s Alijah Holder and Bobby Okereke, USC’s Porter Gustin, Cameron Smith, and Marvell Tell, Utah’s Julian Blackmon and Bradlee Anae, Washington’s Taylor Rapp and Greg Gaines. He is also one of 11 safeties from around the league to be named. For a complete list of those selected to the watch list, click here.
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