As Sioux Falls native Nate Gerry gets ready to suit up for his final season at Nebraska, the Washington High School graduate is among an elite class of college football defenders.

Gerry is on the pre-season watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award, which is awarded to the College Football Player of the Year at the end of the season.

Gerry, a senior safety for the Huskers, is one of 16 Big Ten members on the watch list. Last season, he was a co-captain and started every game at safety, leading Nebraska with 79 tackles. He also led the team with four interceptions.

The award, which started in 1995, is presented by the Maxwell Football Club, started in 1995, and is named for Bednarik, the famed two-way player who played college football at Penn and with the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL.

The winner will be selected by NCAA Head College Football Coaches, members of the Maxwell Football Club & sportswriters and sportscasters from across the country.

The full list for the Bednarik Award:

S Jamal Adams, LSU

DE Jonathan Allen, Alabama

CB Chidobe Awuzie, Colorado

S Budda Baker, Washington

S Dante Barnett, Kansas State

DE Derek Barnett, Tennessee

LB Kendell Beckwith, LSU

LB Vince Biegel, Wisconsin

S Quin Blanding, Virginia

LB Ben Boulware, Clemson

LB Riley Bullough, Michigan State

LB Jason Cabinda, Penn State

DE Josh Carraway, TCU

CB Sean Chandler, Temple

DE Bradley Chubb, N.C. State

FS Chuck Clark, Virginia Tech

S Tony Conner, Ole Miss

LB Zach Cunningham, Vanderbilt

LB Jarrad Davis, Florida

S DeVon Edwards, Duke

LB Jordan Evans, Oklahoma

LB Devonte Fields, Louisville

LB Salamo Fiso, Arizona State

DE Kylie Fitts, Utah

DB Johnathan Ford, Auburn

LB Reuben Foster, Alabama

DE Myles Garrett, Texas A&M

S Nate Gerry, Nebraska

DE Daeshon Hall, Texas A&M

DT Darius Hamilton, Rutgers DE Charles Harris, Missouri

DE Marquis Haynes, Ole Miss

DE Trey Hendrickson, Florida Atlantic

S Nate Holley, Kent State

LB Travin Howard, TCU

S Eddie Jackson, Alabama

CB Adoree' Jackson, USC

S Derwin James, Florida State

LB Malik Jefferson, Texas

CB Sidney Jones, Washington

CB Damontae Kazee, San Diego State

LB Keith Kelsey, Louisville

CB Desmond King, Iowa

LB Micah Kiser, Virginia

DE Carl Lawson, Auburn

LB Elijah Lee, Kansas State

CB Jourdan Lewis, Michigan

DE Tyquan Lewis, Ohio State

CB William Likely, Maryland

DT Lowell Lotulelei, Utah

S Paul Magloire, Arizona

S Marcus Maye, Florida

DL Malik McDowell, Michigan State

DE James McFarland, TCU

LB Raekwon McMillan, Ohio State

LB Matt Milano, Boston College

LB Calvin Munson, San Diego State

CB Deatrick Nichols, USF

DE Noble Nwachukwu, West Virginia

DT Larry Ogunjobi, Charlotte S Jabrill Peppers, Michigan

DE Ejuan Price, Pittsburgh

LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Tennessee

DT Jake Replogle, Purdue

DT Isaac Rochell, Notre Dame

DE Ja'Von Rolland-Jones, Arkansas State

S Dominick Sanders, Georgia

DT Tanzel Smart, Tulane

DE Dawuane Smoot, Illinois

S Jordan Sterns, Oklahoma State

CB Jamar Summers, UConn

CB Cameron Sutton, Tennessee

CB Jalen Tabor, Florida

CB Cordrea Tankersley, Clemson

LB Steven Taylor, Houston

CB Jordan Thomas, Oklahoma

DE Solomon Thomas, Stanford

LB Autsin Valdez, Bowling Green

DT Eddie Vanderdoes, UCLA

DE DeMarcus Walker, Florida State

LB Anthony Walker, Northwestern

DT Charles Walker, Oklahoma

DT Carlos Watkins, Clemson

S Armani Watts, Texas A&M

CB Tre'Davious White, LSU

S Jordan Whitehead, Pittsburgh

LB Tim Williams, Alabama

DE Deatrich Wise, Arkansas

DE Chris Wormley, Michigan

LB Taylor Young, Baylor