Notre Dame's Jaylon Smith, C.J. Prosise on award lists

IRISH STEW

Mike Vorel
South Bend Tribune

Entering November, Notre Dame remains in the thick of the College Football Playoff hunt.

Jaylon Smith and C.J. Prosise are two big reasons why.

On Monday, Smith - a 6-foot-3, 240-pound junior linebacker - was named a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award, which is awarded to college football's defensive player of the year, as well as the Butkus Award, which goes to the nation's top collegiate linebacker.

Likewise, Prosise was named a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award, which honors the college football player of the year. Each of the 20 semifinalists were offensive players, and Prosise was one of eight running backs.

Through eight games, Smith leads the Irish with 66 tackles, while also contributing six tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble. Prosise - a 6-1, 220-pound senior and first-year running back - has rushed for 947 yards and 11 touchdowns, averaging 6.6 yards per carry, while adding 262 receiving yards and another score.

 No. 8 Notre Dame (7-1) returns to action on Saturday with its second consecutive road game in the state of Pennsylvania, this one coming at Pittsburgh at 12 p.m.

Notre Dame’s Jaylon Smith (9) celebrates after recovering a fumble during the Notre Dame-Navy football game on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015, at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend. SBT Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN