The pre-season accolades keep piling up for Wyoming linebacker Easton Gibbs as he has now been added to the Chuck Bednarik Award watch list. The award goes to the College Defensive Player of the Year and is named in honor of the Bednarik who is in both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame. Nicknamed “Concrete Charlie”, Bednarik was the last NFL player to play full time on offense and defense.
Gibbs has been selected as the Mountain West Conference Pre-season Defensive Player of the Year and is already on the Butkus Award watch list for the nation’s top linebacker. He has also been named a ‘23 Preseason First Team All-Mountain selection by MW media, Athlon Sports and Phil Steele.
As a sophomore in 2022, Gibbs was named First Team All-Mountain West in voting by Mountain West head coaches and media at the conclusion of the season. A Temecula, Calif. native, Gibbs ranked No. 3 in the conference and 22nd nationally in tackles for the 2022 season, averaging 9.3 tackles per game. He recorded the first 100-tackle season of his career, with 121. He became only the 61st Cowboy in the 126-year history of Cowboy Football to record 100 tackles in a single season. Gibbs’ 121 tackles tied him with former UW linebackers Bruce Mowry(1983) and Jim Talich (1997) for the 18th best single-season tackle total in school history. Gibbs posted double figures in tackles in six games during the 2022 season. In 2022, he became the third Wyoming linebacker to earn First Team All-Mountain West honors in the last four consecutive seasons, following current Cincinnati Bengal Logan Wilson (2019) and current Jacksonville Jaguar Chad Muma (2020 and ‘21).
Semifinalists for the Chuck Bednarik Award will be announced November 13, 2023, while the three finalists for the Bednarik Award will be unveiled November 28, 2023. The winners of the 29th Chuck Bednarik Award will be announced as part of the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on December 7, 2023. The formal presentations of the Chuck Bednarik Award will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards in March 2024.