Missouri junior defensive end Shane Ray learned Monday that he’s among 20 semifinalists for the Chuck Bednarik Award.
The Maxwell Football Club’s Bednarik Award is given annually to the best defensive player in college football.
Ray is tied for second in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision with 12 sacks and ranks third nationally with 16 tackles for a loss.
He closed out a 20-10 victory against Kentucky with his second sack of quarterback Patrick Towles.
With that sack, Ray, who now has five multi-sack games, broke the Tigers’ single-season record of 11 1/2 sacks set by Aldon Smith in 2009 and matched by Michael Sam last season.
Three finalists for the Bednarik Award will be announced Nov. 24 with the winner announced Dec. 11 during the College Football Award Show on ESPN.
Ray is among five SEC players dubbed Bednarik semifinalists along with Alabama safety Landon Collins, Mississippi cornerback Senquez Golson, Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III and Mississippi State linebacker Benardrick McKinney.