JONESBORO, Ark. (11/28/16) – Arkansas State defensive linemen Chris Odom and Ja’Von Rolland-Jones have been named to the 2016 Hendricks Award Watch List, given annually to the nation’s top defensive end.
The pair are two of 27 individuals to be named to the final version of the watch list, which will be narrowed down to a list of five finalists over the next two weeks. Once the finalists are announced, a vote will be held and the winner will be announced on Dec. 7.
Rolland-Jones, a junior from Mesquite, Texas, leads the Sun Belt Conference with 11 sacks on the year and has 28 for his career which the all-time record for the league and tied the most sacks in school history. He is also ranked first in the Sun Belt and 13th nation with 16.5 tackles for less and has recorded a sack in seven games this season, with a high of three against New Mexico State.
In addition to being named the Hendricks Award Watch List, Rolland-Jones has also been named to the Bronko Nagurski and Bednarik Award lists.
Odom, a senior from Arlington, Texas, has started recorded 47 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks and six quarterback hurries in 12 games this season. His 9.5 sacks rank second only to Rolland-Jones in the Sun Belt, while his 13.5 tackles for loss are third in the league. He has posted at least one tackle in every game this season, including a career-high of nine against Utah State. He also had a forced fumble in the Red Wolves victory over then ranked No. 25 Troy that resulted in a touchdown and also blocked a field goal that was returned for a touchdown against Georgia State.
A-State is the only school to have multiple players on the list and was joined by South Alabama as the only schools from the Sun Belt to be represented.
The Ted Hendricks Award is named in honor of college football’s first three-time first-team All-American. On-field performance, exceptional winning attitude, leadership abilities, contributions to school and community and academic preparedness are some of the criteria used to determine the Award’s winner. Members of the national media, head coaches, professional scouts and former winners are included in the Award’s voting committee. Candidates may represent any class (freshman through senior) as well as any four-year NCAA accredited school. The candidate’s primary position must be Defensive End.
Arkansas State will conclude the regular season on Saturday, Dec. 3 when it travels to Texas State to take on the Bobcats. The game will air on ESPN2 and the WatchESPN App, with kickoff set for 6:30 p.m.