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Will Likely Named to Bednarik and Hornung Watch Lists

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The All-Big Ten corner is now on watch lists for two awards, including one for defensive player of the year.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

After turning heads in a breakout 2014 season, Will Likely is getting noticed in the preseason awards watch.

The junior corner was named to the Chuck Bednarik Award watch list today after being named to the Paul Hornung Award watch list Monday.

Likely is one of 80 players named to the Bednarik watch list. The award is presented to the college defensive player of the year by the Maxwell Football Club.

The semifinalists for the last year's award were announced on Nov. 3, with the finalists being announced on Nov. 24 and the award given out at a banquet on March 6. The dates have not yet been announced for this year.

Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright III won the award last year as a sophomore, and will be tough to beat as he returns for his junior season.

The Hornung award is presented to the most versatile player in college football by the Louisville Sports Commission.

Likely is one of 44 players on the Hornung watch list. Washington linebacker and running back Shaq Thompson won the award in 2014. He also played safety and special teams.

Likely had 83 tackles and returned six interceptions for 170 yards and two touchdowns in 2014. He averaged 31 yards per kick return and 11 yards per punt return, and returned both a punt and a kick for a score.