EAST HARTFORD, CT - AUGUST 30: Yawin Smallwood #33 of the Univeristy of Connecticut Huskies celebrates with teammates Jesse Joseph #91 and Sio Moore #3 following his sack of Mike Wegzyn #11 of the University of Massachusetts Minutemen during the game on August 30, 2012 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Another week, another preseason honor for junior linebacker Yawin Smallwood. On Monday, the Worcester, Mass., native was named to the Watch List for the 2013 Bednarik Award given by the Maxwell Football Club.
The Bednarik Award has been given annually to the nation's college defensive player of the year since 1995. According to the press release, "Chuck Bednarik, former standout at Penn and with the Philadelphia Eagles, is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame's Class of '69 and the NFL Hall of Fame's Class of '67."
In last season's victory over Maryland, Smallwood was named the Bednarik defensive player of the week after racking up 14 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss and 2.5 sacks.
Smallwood, who played alongside NFL draftees Sio Moore, Trevardo Williams, Dwayne Gratz and Blidi Wreh-Wilson last season, finessed with 120 tackles -- 15 coming behind the line of scrimmage -- and four sacks during the 2012 season.
In addition to the national preseason recognition, Smallwood has also shown up on the radar of those in the NFL scouting community. ESPN's Mel Kiper ranks him as one of college's best inside linebackers, and SI.com's Tony Pauline thinks Smallwood has just scratched the surface on his NFL potential.
Smallwood has previously been named to the College Football Performance Awards Defensive Watch List, and has made several preseason All-American teams.