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After finishing as a finalist for the Ted Hendricks Award a year ago, TCU defensive end Jerry Hughes headlines the award's preseason watch list that includes eight players from the nonautomatic-qualifying schools.
The award, which is in its eighth season, is given annually to the nation's top defensive end. At least one player from every non-AQ conference is represented. No player from the nonautomatic-qualifying schools has ever won the award.
Hughes led the nation in sacks last season and helped TCU become the nation's best total defense, best rushing defense and No. 2 scoring defense. The Horned Frogs also were second nationally in sacks.
Non-AQs on Hendricks Award watch list
Alex Carrington, Arkansas State
Jan Jorgensen, BYU
Frank Zombo, Central Michigan
C.J. Wilson, East Carolina
Dontay Moch, Nevada
Jerry Hughes, TCU
Brandon Lang, Troy
Koa Misi, Utah