JONESBORO, Ark. (8/21/17) – Arkansas State football’s all-time career sacks leader Ja’Von Rolland-Jones was named Monday to the 2017 preseason watch list for the Ted Hendricks Award, issued annually by the Ted Hendricks Foundation to the nation’s top defensive end.
A senior from Mesquite, Texas, Rolland-Jones was one of 34 players across the nation to find a place on this year’s preseason watch list. The 2016 Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year made his first appearance on the list last year as a junior, alongside teammate Chris Odom. The only other A-State player to ever receive the preseason honor was Alex Carrington in 2009.
Rolland-Jones enters his senior season with 30.5 career sacks, leaving him 13.5 shy of the NCAA FBS record (44.0) currently held by Terrell Suggs (Arizona State, 2000-02). His preseason honors continue to pile up as he also has been named to the Bednarik and Bronko Nagurski Award watch lists, as well as earning other recognition such as the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year.
A three-time All-Sun Belt Conference selection, Rolland-Jones posted 57 tackles, 20.5 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks last season as a junior while helping the Red Wolves to their fifth conference title over the last six seasons and a 31-13 win over UCF in the Cure Bowl.
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.
Rolland-Jones and the Red Wolves will open their 2017 season at Nebraska on Sept. 2 at 7:00 p.m.