Brown, Buchanan on Bednarik watch list

Illinois junior linebacker Jonathan Brown and senior defensive end Michael Buchanan were named to the preseason watch list for the Bednarik Award, which is given to the nation’s top defensive player.

Brown ranked sixth in the nation and second in the Big Ten in tackles for loss per game (1.63) last season. He had 19.5 total tackles for loss, including 14.5 in conference games. He also led Illinois with 108 tackles.

Buchanan had 64 tackles, 7.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss last season. He ranked fourth in the Big Ten in sacks and ninth in tackles for loss. He was a second-team All-Big Ten selection.

LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu won the award last season.