GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Florida defensive end Jachai Polite is one of 20 semifinalists for the Chuck Bednarik Award.
Polite has rebounded in a big way since his season-ending injury against Georgia last season.
The junior has played in all eight games for the Gators (6-2, 4-2 Southeastern Conference) this year, registering seven sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss. He has also broken up three passes and forced four fumbles.
Polite is one of five defensive ends vying for the distinction of being the nation's top defensive player. Boston College's Zach Allen, Clemson's Clelin Ferrell, Florida State's Brian Burns and Louisiana Tech's Jaylon Ferguson were also named semifinalists Monday by the Maxwell Football Club.
The SEC leads the way with nine semifinalists. Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, Alabama safety Deionte Thompson, Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker, Kentucky linebacker Josh Allen, LSU safety Grant Delpit, LSU linebacker Devin White, Mississippi State linebacker Montez Sweat and Mississippi State defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons are the others.
Three finalists will be determined in November. The winner will be announced Dec. 6.