Oct 19, 2013; Columbia, MO, USA; Florida Gators quarterback Tyler Murphy (3) is sacked by Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Michael Sam (52) during the first half at Faurot Field. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Sam Named Bednarik Award Semifinalist

Missouri senior defensive end Michael Sam has been named one of the 16 semifinalists for the Chuck Bednarik award. The Bednarik award is given out annually to the best defensive player in the nation.

Sam currently leads the nation in sacks, at 10.0, and tackles for loss, at 16.0. Sam has had three multi sack games, coming against Arkansas State, Vanderbilt, and Florida. Sam has been named SEC Defensive Lineman of the week twice and SEC Defensive Player of the week once. Sam is one of only two players from the SEC to be named a semifinalist for the Bednarik award.

The three finalists for the Chuck Bednarik award will be announced on November 25. The winner will be announced on ESPN on December 12. If Sam were to win this award, it would be an enormous honor for himself and the entire Missouri team. The Tigers were always thought of to be too small to play in the SEC, but this is clearly not the case, as Sam has dominated every team he has played against this season, and he has proven himself as one of the best defenders in the nation.

Sam and the Tigers look to bounce back from the tough loss against South Carolina this Saturday in Columbia against Tennessee. The game will be broadcast by ESPN at 6 p.m.

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