Charlotte 49ers senior nose tackle Larry Ogunjobi was named to the preseason watch list for the 2016 Bednarik Award, presented annually to college football’s defensive player of the year, and sponsored by the Maxwell Football Club.
Ogunjobi is the first player from Charlotte to be named the watch list of a major Football Bowl Subdivision award presented by the National College Football Awards Association.
Ogunjobi, who tied for second in Conference USA with a school-record 14.5 tackles for loss last season, ranks eighth among active FBS players in career tackles for loss.
A native of Greensboro, he is the 49ers’ career leader in tackles (152), tackles for loss (35.5), sacks (10.0) and quarterback hurries (23).
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Ogunjobi, who is 6-foot-3 and 295 pounds, had a career-high 62 tackles last year, Charlotte’s first season at the FBS level as a member of Conference USA. He had double-digit tackles against C-USA foes Florida Atlantic (11) and Texas-San Antonio (10) and set the 49ers’ single-game record with 4.5 tackles for loss against UTSA.
The first 49er chosen to wear the program’s honorary No. 49 jersey, Ogunjobi was one of the first two 49ers to make All-Conference USA last season. He is one of two players in the program’s history to have started each of the program’s 34 games, and he registered the program’s first tackle for loss,
Ogunjobi and 49ers running back Kalif Phillips were named second team All-Conference USA last season.
A double major in chemistry and computer science, Ogunjobi has started all 34 games in Charlotte’s three-year football history. In the 49ers’ first game on Aug. 31, 2013 vs. Campbell, he was the first player to wear the program’s honorary No. 49 jersey.
Ogunjobi, who began playing football as a high school sophomore, has made the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll three times.
Chuck Bednarik, a star player at Penn and with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.