Buckeyes defenders, linemen honored

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Five more Ohio State players were named to preseason award watch lists on Thursday, including a pair of Buckeyes who were previously named to similar lists earlier this week, and a duo who helps make up one of the nation's most formidable units.
Safety Christian Bryant, cornerback Bradley Roby, and linebacker Ryan Shazier were each named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list, which is awarded annually to the nation's best defensive player, while left tackle Jack Mewhort and left guard Andrew Norwell each find themselves on the preseason list for the Outland Trophy, presented to college football's top interior lineman.
The Nagurski watch list is the second such list that both Roby and Shazier have been named to this week, after the defensive duo found itself on the preseason watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award on Monday. One of the nation's top pass defenders in 2012 (1.73 passes defended per game), Roby was an All-Big Ten selection last season, as was Shazier, who led the Buckeyes with a team-high 115 tackles.
A senior-to-be, Bryant finished 2012 second on Ohio State in both tackles (71) and passes defended (13). The Cleveland Glenville product has been lauded for his leadership abilities this offseason and is entering his third season as a starter in the Buckeyes' secondary.
Mewhort and Norwell are also about to begin their third season as starters for Ohio State, and combined to make up the left side of a Buckeyes offensive line that paved the way for the country's 10th-ranked rushing offense in 2012. With a combined 50 starts between them, the pair of seniors have OSU offensive line coach Ed Warinner confident about his unit heading into the 2013 season.
"Makes it easy to get up at 5:30 in the morning to come in here, I can tell you that," Warinner joked following an Ohio State spring practice session in March.
Five finalists for the Nagurski Trophy will be named on Nov. 21, with the winner being presented with the award on Dec. 9 at a banquet in Charlotte, N.C. Six or seven semifinalists for the Outland Trophy will be named on Nov. 20, a list that will be trimmed to three finalists on Nov. 25. The winner of the Outland Trophy will be announced on Dec. 12 as a part of the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show.