Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Six Big 12 schools are represented in the initial 62-man watch list for the Bronko Nagurski Award, which is awarded annually to the nation's best defensive player as determined by the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club.
Defensive end Jeremy Beal and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy represent Oklahoma, which leads all Big 12 teams with two selections.
Other nominees include Baylor linebacker Joe Pawelek, Texas defensive end/linebacker Sergio Kindle, Kansas defensive back Darrell Stuckey, Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon.
The watch list is topped by 17 players from the Southeastern Conference and nine from the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Big 12 is next in a three-way tie for third with the Big Ten and the Pacific-10.
The Big 12 has accounted for four of the Bronko Nagurski Award winners since it began play in 1996, most recently Texas' Brian Orakpo last season. Other Big 12 winners have included Oklahoma's Roy Williams (2001) and Derrick Strait (2003) and Texas' Derrick Johnson (2004).
Finalists for the award will be announced in mid-November. The trophy will be presented on Dec. 7 in Charlotte, N.C.