Henry To’o To’o Earns Spot on Bednarik Award Watch List

Henry To’oto’o – UT LB / Credit: UT Athletics

KNOXVILLE – After a spectacular freshman All-America campaign, Tennessee sophomore linebacker Henry To’o To’o has been tabbed to the watch list for the Bednarik Award, which is presented to the most outstanding defensive player in college football.

The Maxwell Football Club unveiled 90 candidates to the 2020 watch list on Monday, including 11 Southeastern Conference players. To’o was one of just two SEC sophomores on the list, joining LSU’s Derek Stingley.

The Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995 and is named in honor of Chuck Bednarik, a former standout at the University of Pennsylvania and with the Philadelphia Eagles. The 2020 season marks the 26th annual presentation of the award.

To’o To’o, a native of Sacramento, California, is coming off a freshman season of 72 tackles, while playing in all 13 games with 12 starts. He finished second on the squad in tackles, second among SEC freshmen and fourth among FBS freshmen.

A 2020 preseason second-team All-SEC selection by Athlon, To’o To’o helped lead Tennessee on a six-game winning streak to close the 2019 season, including a game-high eight-tackle performance in a victory over Indiana in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl.

To’o To’o came to Tennessee as one of the top linebacker prospects in the country and immediately performed. A recreation and sports management major, he was a high school All-American at powerhouse De La Salle High School.

Semifinalists for the Bednarik Award will be announced on Nov. 3, 2020, while the three finalists for the honor will be unveiled Nov. 23, 2020. The winner of the 2020 Bednarik Awards will be announced as part of the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on Dec. 10, 2020.

2020 Tennessee Football Preseason Honors

Brent Cimaglia, Sr., PK
All-SEC First Team (Athlon, College Football News)

Eric Gray, So., RB
All-SEC Fourth Team (Athlon)

Velus Jones Jr., Sr., WR/RS
All-SEC Third Team (Athlon)

Cade Mays, Jr., OL
Second-Team All-American (Sporting News)
All-SEC Second Team (Athlon)

Wanya Morris, So., OL
All-SEC First Team (College Football News)

Josh Palmer, Sr., WR
All-SEC Fourth Team (Athlon)

Trey Smith, Sr., OL
First-Team All-American (Athlon, Sporting News)
Second-Team All-American (Walter Camp)
All-SEC First Team (Athlon, College Football News)

Bryce Thompson, Jr., DB
All-SEC Fourth Team (Athlon)

Henry To’o To’o, So., LB
Bednarik Award Watch List
All-SEC Second Team (Athlon)

-UT Athletics



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