2022 School Soccer Awards — Roll ‘Bama Roll’s Bednarik Award Poll

We’re lucky sufficient to be electors for a number of faculty soccer awards. It’s each an honor and an obligation that I take very significantly. Certain, it isn’t life or loss of life, however I feel those that’ve excelled must have the popularity that someplace on the market somebody is paying consideration. I do not care about who’s due, profession achievements, or a ultimate valedictory. If I genuinely suppose you are the most effective, then I’ll vote for you (As an illustration, when he was a real Freshman, and earlier than he was “Sauce,” my poll for the Thorpe Award went to a lanky child at a G5 faculty — and Ahmad Gardner turned out to be alright the remainder of his profession too!).

With that stated, we’ll be rolling out our ballots for our votes on the 12 months.

At the moment we begin with:

Chuck Bednarik Award

That is introduced yearly to the defensive participant in faculty soccer as judged by the Maxwell Soccer Membership to be the most effective in america. The award is known as for Chuck Bednarik, a former faculty {and professional} American soccer participant. Voters for the Maxwell School Awards are NCAA head faculty soccer coaches, members of the Maxwell Soccer Membership, and sportswriters and sportscasters from throughout the nation.

And the winner is…

Alabama v LSU

Photograph by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Photos

Kool Help McKinstry

Getting into the 2022 season, Will Anderson was considering to be the most effective defender within the nation, maybe participant within the nation. And, he nonetheless could be. However so far as who has earned the “defensive Heisman” this season, I went with essentially the most impactful one in every of of school soccer — a DB as an alternative; the participant groups are really making an attempt to scheme round each week, with out fail: Ga’Quincy Kool-Help McKinstry.

Kool-Help has fairly merely turned half of the sphere right into a no-fly zone for passing assaults in an period of passing. Each week, we see groups actively having to scheme round him to place playmakers reverse different ‘Bama defenders. Kool-Help does not have eye-popping stats — only one interception. However that’s as a result of he merely just isn’t getting a lot work over there both.

On the season, Kool-Help is T-Seventeenth in handed defended (13), he’s eighth in passes damaged up (12), and makes a play on 1.18 passes per recreation. However he has arms down been remoted the fewest instances too on Alabama’s protection. He’s seeing about 5 passes his manner per recreation. He’s batting them down or defending one in every of them. Two of them are innocent incompletions. And he’s permitting slightly below 3 completions per recreation (39% completion percentage-against, tops within the nation). He has surrendered simply two touchdowns in man protection this season, and on third down, groups are finishing even fewer makes an attempt — 31%. In 11 video games, he has allowed simply 27 completions.

In brief, groups virtually double their probabilities at a completion throwing anyplace different than his path.

Kool-Help has saved his greatest for the most effective, as effectively: 10 of these PBU have are available convention play, with 9 in opposition to groups with successful data; and 9 of these PDs are in SEC play with 7 in opposition to groups with successful data. And a few groups virtually did not even hassle throwing his path. Hey notched zero stats in opposition to UT as an illustration, as a result of the Vols did not even take into consideration throwing at him. The Aggies focused him simply as soon as. The Ole Miss Rebels did so a mere thrice. The pass-happy MSU Bulldogs challenged him six instances instances. 4 have been batted down; one was stopped for a achieve of 6 yards; one was a innocent incompletion.

His complete stat line appears to be like like that too. The influence Kool-Help is having is much like that of PS2, but it surely has arrived a full 12 months early. Surtain held opponents to a 29% completion price. However the place PS2 did it with elite place — and noticed about 4 targets a recreation — Kool Help is doing it with elite size, vary, and on-ball expertise. And he is nonetheless solely permitting a 31% completion price in opposition to the nation’s fifth hardest schedule.

The bodily, fiery, sure-tackling sophomore may even lay the lumber in run help and assist with bottom pursuit: he has 31 tackles on the season, 25 of them solo.

The efforts of Kool Help this season are a giant motive why the Tide is sixth in Go Effectivity Protection; 2nd in stopping explosive drives; 4th in stopping explosive performs; and is the most effective workforce within the nation in opponent-adjusted, per-play protection.

When you’ve taken half the sphere away, there’s not loads for offenses to work with.

Will Anderson could scare groups extra on Saturday, and he could make the spotlight reels extra usually, however on Monday-through-Thursday, the coaches are scheming round Kool-Help.

He is not essentially the most gifted defender within the nation, nor does he have the most effective total stats, however he has been the most effective and is worthy of the Chuck Bednarik Award.

No. 2 — Will Anderson, Edge — Alabama: Together with Kool-Help, this man is the opposite defender groups throughout the nation should attempt to negate. We have seen a number of offenses actually intestine their playbook simply to maintain Will Anderson out of the backfield. Zero- and 1-step drops are the secret in opposition to Large No. 31. In consequence, his uncooked manufacturing has fallen from final 12 months, however he has nonetheless notched 43 solo stops and eight sacks to go along with his 2 PD, 1 PBU, 17 TFL, and 10 QB hurries. The tide has not seen a lot of a decline both, as a result of he has allowed others to fill the hole. Alabama is T-Tenth in sacks on the 12 months, they usually common 6.73 TFL on the season. Along with being sixth in cross effectivity protection, Alabama is 4th in rush effectivity protection. Will Anderson is a giant motive why up entrance.

No. 3 — Drew Sanders, ILB — Arkansas: The Hogs protection stinks, but it surely’s not Sanders fault. He’s a one-man wrecking crew on a fully horrible protection. He has 96 tackles (60 solo), 6 QB hurries, 3 compelled fumbles, 3 passes defended, 4 passes damaged up, and an interception. We knew he had expertise, however he was merely a depth chart casually for a Tide workforce that had different roster choices. Good luck, Drew.


Who has been the most effective Alabama defender in 2022?

  • 41%

    Kool Help McKinstry

    (91 votes)

  • 4%

    Henry To’oto’o

    (9 votes)

  • 1%

    Different / Tied / beneath

    (3 votes)

218 complete votes

Vote Now

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