Boilers' Kerrigan in mix for Hendricks Award

My biggest problem with college football awards is that they're often based too much on preseason hype rather than on what happens between September and December.

That's why it was nice to see Purdue's Ryan Kerrigan added to the watch list for the Ted Hendricks Award, given to the nation's top defensive end. Kerrigan's name didn't appear on the 30-man preseason watch list, but the Boilermakers junior earned his way on with a strong performance this fall.

He leads the Big Ten and ties for eighth nationally in sacks with 11. Kerrigan is tied for third in the league in tackles for loss (16.5) and earned national defensive player of the week honors after leading Purdue to an upset victory against Ohio State on Oct. 17.

Hendricks Award finalists will be named in the coming weeks, and the winner will be announced Dec. 9. The preseason watch list included seven Big Ten players: Michigan State's Trevor Anderson, Michigan's Brandon Graham, Illinois' Doug Pilcher, Ohio State's Lawrence Wilson, Northwestern's Corey Wootton and Indiana's Jammie Kirlew and Greg Middleton.