Blacksburg, VA -- Virginia Tech defensive end James Gayle, a redshirt junior from Hampton, Va., was named to the 2012 watch list for the Ted Hendricks Award, given annually to college football's top defensive end.
In all, eight of the 40 players on the list of preseason candidates hail from the Atlantic Coast Conference. Joining Gayle are Izaan Cross, Georgia Tech; Andre Monroe, Maryland; Anthony Chickillo, Miami; Malliciah Goodman, Clemson; Brandon Jenkins and Bjoern Werner, Florida State; and Kareem Martin, North Carolina.
The 14-team Southeastern Conference leads the way with 10 players on the watch list, while the 12-team ACC has eight players.
The list will be pared down during the season based on player performance and injuries. The final watch list will be announced in November and the winner will be announced on Dec. 5, 2012.
According to the award's official website, on-field performance is not the only criteria.
On-field performance, leadership abilities and contributions to school and community are some of the criteria used to determine the award winner.
Nominees to the watch list can be from any class, i.e. freshman through senior, and can play at any four-year NCAA members school from divisions I through III.
Hendricks was was three-time All-American at the University of Miami and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
The honor was first awarded following the 2002 season and there have been 10 recipients thus far.
- 2011 - Whitney Mercilus, Illinois
- 2010 - Da'Quan Bowers, Clemson
- 2009 - Jerry Hughes, TCU
- 2008 - Brian Orakpo, Texas
- 2007 - Chris Long, Virginia
- 2006 - LaMarr Woodley, Michigan
- 2005 - Elvis Dumervil, Louisville
- 2004 - David Pollack, Georgia
- 2003 - David Pollack, Georgia
- 2002 - Terrell Suggs, Arizona State