Matt Elam added to award watch list

Florida Gators safety Matt Elam’s performance through the first seven games has been incredible and the Maxwell Football Club has taken notice.

The club added Elam to the watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award on Wednesday. The award has been given annually to the top defense players since 1995.

Elam was one of four players added to the list of 65. He’s the second Gators’ player up for the Bendarik Award as defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd was named to the watch list in the preseason.

Elam, a junior from Palm Beach Gardens, is second on the team with 39 tackles, including four for a loss. He has a sack, a fumble recovery, an interception and a pair of pass breakups.

The winner of the Bednarik Award will be announced on Dec. 6 as part of the ESPNU College Football Awards Show. Semifinalists will be named on Oct. 29, followed by three finalists being named on Nov. 19.

No. 2 Florida (7-0, 6-0) plays No. 10 Georgia (6-1, 4-1) at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla.

Several Florida Gators football players have been nominated for postseason awards. Here’s the updated list of those players and the dates of when awards 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 — Sharrif Floyd, 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 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.