JONESBORO, Ark. (7/5/16) – Arkansas State junior defensive end Ja’Von Rolland-Jones has been named to the 2016 Bednarik Award Watch the Maxwell Football Club announced Tuesday morning.
Rolland-Jones is the second A-State studemt-athlete in school history to be named to the watch list for the Bednarik Award, joining Ryan Carrethers who was on the list in the 2013. The award has been presented annually since 1995 to the college defensive player of the year. He is the only player from the Sun Belt Conference to make the list and is one of 33 underclassmen to be recognized.
The reigning two-time All-Sun Belt Conference selection, Rolland-Jones collected 38 tackles and forced a team-high four fumbles in 2015. He led the Red Wolves with 9.0 sacks and 13 tackles for loss and earned first team All-Sun Belt Conference honors. His nine sacks on the year are tied for the eighth most in school history, while his 17 career sacks are tied for the sixth most in school history.
The Mesquite, Texas, native also ranked 13th in the nation in forced fumbles per game (0.31) and finished 32nd in all of FBS with an average of 0.69 sacks per game in 2016. Rolland-Jones has also earned other preseason accolades this summer after Athlon Sports named him as a 2016 Preseason First-Team All-Sun Belt Conference pick.
Semifinalists for the Bednarik Award will be announced October 31, 2016, while the three finalists will be unveiled November 21, 2016. The winner of the 2016 Bednarik Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on December 8, 2016. The formal presentations of these awards will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Tropicana Hotel & Casino Atlantic City on March 10, 2017.
Arkansas State will kick off its season with a home game against Toledo on Friday, Sept. 2. Season tickets for the Red Wolves’ 2016 football campaign, which includes six home games, are available for purchase. Arkansas State has strung together 11 consecutive years with a winning home record dating back to 2005 and has won 26 of its last 30 games at Centennial Bank Stadium.