National sacks leader Marcus Smith of Louisville was announced Tuesday as one of 18 candidates for the Ted Hendricks Award, given annually to the nation's top college defensive end.
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Not on the list, perhaps unsurprisingly, given his uninspired play this season, is South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney, who won the Hendricks Award last year.
Smith has 10.5 sacks, a half-sack ahead of two other candidates, Clemson's Vic Beasley and Missouri's Michael Sam.
Five conferences have three candidates apiece: The AAC, ACC, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC. The Big Ten, Mid-American and Mountain West have one each.
The other candidates, listed alphabetically: Oregon State's Scott Crichton, Boston College's Kasim Edebali, Toledo's Jayrone Elliott, Auburn's Dee Ford, Nebraska's Randy Gregory, Memphis' Martin Ifedi, Texas' Jackson Jeffcoat, Boise State's DeMarcus Lawrence, North Carolina's Kareem Martin, Louisville's Lorenzo Mauldin, Kansas State's Ryan Mueller, Texas' Cedric Reed, Arkansas' Chris Smith, Colorado's Chidera Uzo-Diribe and Oregon's Tony Washington.
Ifedi (8.5), Lawrence (8.5) and Mueller (8.0) are the other candidates with at least eight sacks.
On-field performance, attitude, leadership abilities, contributions to school and community and academic preparedness are some of the criteria used to determine the winner. Media members, head coaches, pro scouts and former winners are on the voting committee.
The finalists (between four and six players) will be announced later this month, and the winner will be named Dec. 11.