Kelby Brown and redshirt junior safety Jeremy Cash have been named to the preseason watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award, an honor given annually to the top defensive player in the nation by the Maxwell Football Club.DURHAM, N.C. – Duke redshirt senior linebacker
Brown, a 6-2, 230-pound native of Charlotte, N.C., earned first team All-ACC honors in 2013 after posting 114 tackles, 11.0 tackles for loss, 1.0 quarterback sack, two interceptions, two caused fumbles, two fumble recoveries, two pass breakups and eight QB pressures. A three-time ACC Linebacker of the Week selection last year, Brown enters the 2014 campaign as the ACC’s active leader in tackles with 242 and is one of just six active players nationally to have 200-plus tackles and 20.0-plus tackles for loss.
Cash’s selection comes on the heels of a 2013 season in which he earned second team All-America honors from USA Today. The 6-2, 205-pound native of Miami, Fla., totaled 121 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, four interceptions, four pass breakups, two caused fumbles, two fumbles and two quarterback hurries in his first season as a Blue Devil. Cash transferred to Duke from Ohio State following the 2011 season where he played as a true freshman for the Buckeyes. After sitting out the 2012 season due to NCAA transfer rules, Cash made an immediate impact in the Duke secondary, finished second in the ACC with 121 total tackles en route to receiving first team all-league accolades.
The Bednarik Award is named in honor of Chuck Bednarik, a member of the College and Pro Football Hall of Fames who attended Penn and was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection with the Philadelphia Eagles. Past winners of the Bednarik Award include Aaron Donald (Pitt), Manti Te’o (Notre Dame), Tyran Mathieu (LSU), Patrick Peterson (LSU), Ndamukong Suh (Nebraska, Julius Peppers (North Carolina), Charles Woodson (Michigan) and Warren Sapp (Miami).
Brown and Cash are two of 43 letterwinners returning to Duke in 2014 after helping the program to a 10-4 record, the ACC Coastal Division crown and a berth in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on New Year’s Eve.
Duke opens the season on August 30 against Elon at Wallace Wade Stadium. Tickets are available at http://www.goduke.com/footballtix or by calling (919) 681-BLUE.