The Maxwell Football Club’s selection committee assembles the watch list for the Bednarik Award, presented to the nation’s Defensive Player of the Year every year since 1995.
The Bednarik Award is named after Chuck Bednarik, a College Football and Pro Football Hall of Famer who plied his trade at the University of Pennsylvania and with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Previously, Merrell was named to Phil Steele’s Preseason all-conference team, as a second teamer. He was also a third-team preseason all-conference pick for Athlon Sports.
According to scarletknights.com, Merrell had 83 total tackles, 8.5 for loss and two blocked kicks in 13 starts at strong inside linebacker in 2012.
Merrell is one of four returning defensive starters, along with twin brother and senior defensive end Jamil Merrell; senior defensive end Marcus Thompson; and junior strong safety Lorenzo Waters.
For the complete 2013 Bednarik Awards watch list, click here.