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Arkansas’ Deatrich Wise Named To Bednarik Award Watch List

The first watch list of many, most likely.

NCAA Football: Arkansas at Louisiana State Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Arkansas fans and coaches are hoping Deatrich Wise has a huge senior season. While Arkansas’ defense was heavily criticized throughout last fall, Wise was a bright spot - particularly late in the year when he started getting to the quarterback with more frequency.

As a result, he’s Arkansas’ lone inclusion on the Bednarik Award watch list. It’s given to the nation’s top defensive player at any position. A player does not have to be on the watch list to win the award.

Here’s UA’s summary of Wise’s career up to this point.

Wise tallied 31 tackles – including 10.5 for loss – and eight sacks in 13 games played last season. All eight of his sacks came during Southeastern Conference (SEC) play, which led the league in that category.

The Carrollton, Texas, native was especially dominant during the month of November as he recorded seven sacks through the final four regular-season contests, a figure that paced the SEC and ranked second nationally during that stretch.

Wise has recorded 11 of his 13 career sacks against SEC opponents, including at least a half-sack in six of the last nine conference games he’s played in.

Wise is one of nine returning defensive starters that helped the Razorbacks hold 12 of 13 opponents below their season rushing average in 2015. Allowing only 116.46 yards per game on the ground, Arkansas ranked second in the SEC and 12th nationally in rushing defense.