Elam is Bednarik Award POTW

Florida Gators safety Matt Elam has been named the Chuck Bednarik Award Player of the Week. It was announced Tuesday by the Maxwell Football Club, which recognizes the top collegiate defensive player annually.

Elam, a 5-foot-10, 202-pound junior, had six tackles, including two for a loss, and a 47-yard interception return in Saturday’s 14-7 win against Missouri. The No. 7 Gators (8-1 overall, 7-1 in SEC play) host Louisiana-Lafayette at 12:21 p.m. on Saturday.

Elam is third on the team with 47 tackles, including six for a loss with a sack this season. He also has four bass breakups, three interceptions and a fumble recovery.

He is one of 16 semifinalists for the Bednarik Award after being added to the watch list after Week 7. Three finalists will be named on Nov. 19 with the winner announced on Dec. 6.

Elam also is on watch lists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and is a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award.

Here’s a look at all of the postseason awards Gators football players are up for and the dates they will be announced:

Bronko Nagurski Trophy — Dec. 3 — Sharrif Floyd, Matt Elam

Butkus Award — Dec. 4 — Jon Bostic, Jelani Jenkins

Rotary Lombardi Award — Dec. 5 — Sharrif Floyd, Jon Bostic, Jelani Jenkins

Chuck Bednarik Award — Dec. 6 — Matt Elam

John Mackey Award — Dec. 6 — Jordan Reed

Lou Groza Award — Dec. 6 — Caleb Sturgis

Outland Trophy — Dec. 6 — Sharrif Floyd

Jim Thorpe — Dec. 6 — Matt Elam

Biletnikoff Award — Dec. 6 — Andre Debose

Maxwell Award — Dec. 6 — Mike Gillislee

Rimington Trophy — Jan. 12 — Jonotthan Harrison

Paul Hornung Award — TBD — Trey Burton

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Mike Capshaw brings a wealth of experience to the Gator Country team. He’s been overseeing all editorial aspects of GatorCountry.com and Gator Country magazine by managing our team of staffers, interns and freelancers. He is now moving into a bigger role as a reporter by covering the football and basketball beats as well as providing coverage of all sports on campus. Mike’s 15 years in the business has included more than six years of covering SEC sports and recruiting at a daily newspaper in Arkansas. He has also helped launch a newspaper, magazines, websites and even a sports talk radio show. Because Mike puts family ahead of his career, he left the place where he was established when his wife received an opportunity to further her career at UF. He took a leap of faith that he could find a job in the Gainesville area and worked for a year at a newspaper group before joining the Gator Country family in November, 2011. Mike has won Florida Press Association awards for Best Sports Game Story and Best Sports Feature Story in the past two years as well as a company-wide award at his former newspaper group that includes some 60 publications, for Excellence in Sports Reporting. You can follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeCapshawGC.