Established in 1995, the Bednarik Award is presented to the nation's top defensive player, which former Husker Ndamukong Suh claimed in 2009 following his outstanding senior season. The Maxwell Award began in 1937 and is annually given to the nation's most outstanding player.
Crick and Amukamara are among 60 players on the Bednarik Award watch list. A native of Cozad, Neb., Crick put his name in the Nebraska record books following an impressive sophomore season last fall. The first-team All-Big 12 selection racked up 9.5 sacks and 75 total tackles. In Nebraska's 20-10 win over Baylor on Oct. 31, he set the school's single-game records for sacks (5) and tackles for loss (7).
Amukamara had a breakout junior season in 2009, earning first-team All-Big 12 honors from the conference coaches and several major media outlets. The defensive back from Glendale, Ariz., tallied five interceptions to rank second on the team, while leading the Huskers with 11 pass breakups. He also had 64 total tackles and a pair of sacks to help NU hold its opponents to a nation-leading 10.4 points per game.
Helu is one of 60 players on the Maxwell Award watch list, which includes 29 quarterbacks and 24 running backs. A Danville, Calif., native, Helu was a second-team All-Big 12 running back in 2009 after he rushed for 1,147 yards and 10 touchdowns. He became the 25th Husker to reach 2,000 career rushing yards as he totaled 839 yards on the ground in 2008 to earn honorable mention All-Big 12 honors.
Semifinalists for the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced Nov. 8 and three finalists for each award will be announced Nov. 22. The winners of the 2010 Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced as part of the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show on Dec. 9.
Suh was the first Nebraska player to win the 14-year old Bednarik Award, while running back Mike Rozier (1983) is the lone Husker to claim the Maxwell Award. Quarterbacks Tommie Frazier (1995) and Eric Crouch (2001) were each finalists.