Bednarik Award Watch List: Kansas State’s Dante Barnett


Kansas State safety Dante Barnett became a candidate for college defensive player of the year honors with his selection to the 2015 Bednarik Award watch list.

80 college players were identified by the Maxwell Football Club on Tuesday and perhaps none are more deserving than Barnett. The senior defensive back returns to Kansas State after a stellar junior year in which he accumulated 77 tackles, 3 interceptions, and 11 passes defended. Barnett serves the key defensive anchor and team captain of the 2015 Wildcats.

Barnett becomes just the sixth Kansas State defender to make the Bednarik Award watch list. Defensive back Chris Canty was the first in 1996, immediately followed by a long absence in which no Wildcats were recognized. Linebacker Arthur Brown and cornerback Nigel Malone broke the watch list drought in 2012; proceeded by defensive back Ty Zimmerman in 2013, and then defensive end Ryan Mueller in 2014.

Few can forget Dante Barnett’s 2o14 week 9 performance at Texas in which he was the spotlight of Kansas State’s 23-0 route of the Longhorns. The strong safety made 7 tackles and broke up 4 passes while on his way to Big 12 defensive player of the week honors. Four weeks earlier, Barnett made 12 tackles, 3 for a loss, in the Wildcats’ 30 point win over UTEP.

Named after NFL and College Football Hall of Fame great, Chuck Bednarik, the Bednarik Award has been presented to college football’s most outstanding defensive player since 1995. Award semifinalists will be announced on November 2nd and if all goes well, Dante Barnett will be on hand for the award presentation to be held December 10th at the College Footbal Hall of Fame in Atlanta.