The preseason accolades continue to mount for several members of Utah's football program. Just a week after being named to SI's top 100 players, Utah defensive tackle Lowell Lotulelei was named to the Bednarik Award preseason watch list along with fellow defensive lineman Kylie Fitts. In addition Utah's defensive line was named the nation's third best by Bruce Feldman at Fox Sports behind only Michigan and Alabama.
Fitts and Lotulelei are both solid choices for the watchlist. Both are disruptive forces along the line, with Lotulelei providing perhaps the best defensive push in the nation, while Fitts had a breakout season last year stepping up in Hunter Dimick's absence with 41 tackles (8 for a loss) 7 sacks and 10 pass breakups. Moving into this year, many pundits are again expecting a big year from both players.
Fitts and Lotulelei have plenty of company on the list, with 90 players named. The Pac-12 is well represented with 10 players listed, including Fitts and Lotulelei. Other Pac-12 players are as listed.
Arizona: S Paul Magloire
Arizona State: LB Salamo Fiso
Colorado: CB Chidobe Awuzie
Stanford: DE Soloman Thomas
UCLA: DT Eddie Vanderdoes
USC: CB Adoree Jackson
Washington: S Budda Baker
Washington: CB Sidney Jones
As you can see from the list, Washington was the only other Pac-12 school to have two players named to the watch list. Six schools had three players each listed: Clemson, Florida, LSU, Oklahoma, TCU and Texas A&M while Alabama had the most of any team with four players listed. You can take a look at the complete list here.
While the preseason watchlists are mostly pomp and circumstance, they do serve to get players on the national media's radar. Should Hunter Dimick have been included on this list, even after an injury riddled 2015? Any snubs that stand out?