WACO, Texas – Baylor senior defensive end K.J. Smith has been named to the 2017 Bednarik Award watch list, the Maxwell Football Club announced Monday.

Smith starred for Baylor in 2016 en route to being an All-Big 12 first team selection by the league’s coaches. He tallied 11.0 tackles for loss and 7.0 sacks while starting all three games for the Bears. His seven sacks in 2016 tied for the fifth-most in Baylor program history.

A native of Frisco, Texas, Smith has recorded 12.0 sacks in his career with 26.0 tackles for loss and 135 total tackles in 39 games (24 starts). He ranks ninth in Baylor history with 12.0 career sacks.

The Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995. Chuck Bednarik, former standout at Penn and with the Philadelphia Eagles, is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame's Class of '69 and the NFL Hall of Fame's Class of '67.

Semifinalists for the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced October 30, 2017, while the three finalists for each award will be unveiled November 20, 2017. The winners of the 2017 Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on December 7, 2017. The formal presentations of these awards will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Tropicana Hotel & Casino Atlantic City on March 9, 2018.