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  Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson and running back Deuce Vaughn have been named to the watch list for the Maxwell Award. The Maxwell Award annually is given to the best player in college football. Thompson is on the list for the second straight season. And Vaughn's presence marks the first time two Wildcats have been on the list since quarterback Jake Waters and wide receiver Tyler Lockett were on it in 2014.

With 30 starts under his belt, Thompson will begin the 2021 season ranked in the top 10 in 15 career categories, including the top spot for interception percentage (1.84), third in yards per completion (12.87), and fifth in completions (390), passing efficiency (136.01), rushing yards by a quarterback (1,083) and rushing touchdowns by a quarterback (22). He also ranks seventh in career passing yards (5,201) and passing touchdowns (30). - Manhattan Mercury


(DS#24 QB) rSr/2022 QB Skylar ThompsonKansas State
News Source: Manhattan Mercury
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  07/21/21 - WR Ty FryfoglerSr/2022, Indiana, 6-2, 214 (DS#7 WR) + More +

  Four different IU football players were named to watch lists of major college football awards on Monday. Wide receiver Ty Fryfogle and quarterback Michael Penix Jr. were named to the Maxwell Award Watch List, given to college football's top offensive player. On defense, linebacker Micah McFadden and cornerback Tiawan Mullen were named to on the Bednarik Award Watch list, given to college football's top defensive player. Fryfogle enjoyed a breakout 2020 season for the Hoosiers, with 37 catches for 721 yards and 7 TDs to earn Big Ten wide receiver of the year honors. - Herald Bulletin

(DS#7 WR) rSr/2022 WR Ty FryfogleIndiana
News Source: Herald Bulletin
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  07/21/21 - RB Joe ErvinrSo/2024, Kansas State, 5-08, 177 (DS#999 RB) + More +

  Strange as it may now seem, there was a time not so long ago when Kansas State football fans viewed a pair of young running backs other than Deuce Vaughn as the future of the Wildcats' ground game. Their names were Joe Ervin and Jacardia Wright. Remember them? You should. They both showed worlds of promise while playing in just four games as true freshmen in 2019. They looked so good, in fact, that they both seemed in line for more carries than Vaughn heading into last season. But then the coronavirus pandemic happened. Ervin, a 5-foot-8 and 178-pound shifty runner from Rock Hill, S.C., opted out of the 2020 season and spent several months away from the team before returning for spring practices. Wright, a 6-foot and 226-pound bruising rusher, tumbled down the depth chart and rarely played while Vaughn burst onto the scene as a freshman All-American.

Many fans wondered what happened to Ervin and Wright last season, especially while the Wildcats struggled to find quality running backs to play alongside Vaughn. It seems like those questions may disappear this year. K-State football coach Chris Klieman is confident the Wildcats will have a much deeper and more versatile backfield when games resume in September. "Getting Joe Ervin back is also critical. He is a really talented running back and I think he's going to carry the ball an awful lot. He's going to catch the ball an awful lot. He's one of the best blockers we have. I feel comfortable in the fact that we have some good depth and some competition there at that position." - The Kansas City Star


(DS#999 RB) rSo/2024 RB Joe ErvinKansas State
News Source: The Kansas City Star
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  The Maxwell Football Club announced its watch lists for the 85th Maxwell Award, presented annually to the outstanding player in college football, and for the 27th annual Chuck Bednarik Award, presented annually to the outstanding defensive player in college football today, which included Coastal Carolina's Grayson McCall and Jeffrey Gunter, respectively. Both awards are proudly sponsored by Mammoth Tech and The Athletes' Corner, which are Executive Partners of the Maxwell Football Club.

McCall was named the 2020 Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year and the 2020 Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year by the league's coaches and earned a spot on the 2020 All-Sun Belt first team and the 2020 Phil Steele SBC All-Conference first team last season in which he led the Sun Belt and ranked 10th nationally with 26 passing touchdowns on the year. He also led the Sun Belt and ranked in the top 30 nationally in passing efficiency at 184.3 (fifth), points responsible for with 202 (ninth), points responsible for per game at 18.4 (16th), passing yards with 2,488 (19th), and in total offensive yards per game at 277.9 (30th), and was second in the Sun Belt in completion percentage at 68.8 percent (172-of-250), in passing yards per completion at 14.47, and yards per attempt at 9.95. - Coastal Carolina Football


(DS#7 QB) rSo/2024 QB Grayson McCallCoastal Carolina
News Source: Coastal Carolina Football
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  07/20/21 - DT Travis JonesSr/2022, Connecticut, 6-3, 336 (DS#11 DT) + More +

  UConn junior defensive lineman Travis Jones was named to the Bednarik Award watch list Monday, given out to college football's top defensive player. Jones, a New Haven native and Wilbur Cross graduate, totaled 40 tackles and 3.5 sacks for the Huskies in 2019 and had 55 tackles and 5.5 sacks as a freshman in 2018. "People are going to look at him and go 'holy crap, look what he's done with his body,'" UConn coach Randy Edsall said of Jones. "And it's like that with the whole team for the most part. I just know this: I've been doing this for 40 years, and I sure as heck see the difference in the kids." - Hartford Courant

(DS#11 DT) Sr/2022 DT Travis JonesConnecticut
News Source: Hartford Courant
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  Two Central Michigan football players have been named to the 2021 Bednarik Award Watch List. CMU defensive end Troy Hairston II and linebacker Troy Brown are on the list are among the 90 players listed. They represent Football Bowl Subdivision programs from coast to coast. The award goes annually to the defensive player of the year and is named in honor of Chuck Bednarik, a standout at Pennsylvania and with the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL. He is a member of both the Pro Football and College Football halls of fame. The award is presented by the Maxwell Football Club.

Central Michigan is one of 11 schools with two candidates on the watch list. Brown and Hairston are two of five players from Mid-American Conference schools on the list. The others are Toledo's Desjuan Johnson, Buffalo's James Patterson and Western Michigan's Ralph Holley. Hairston, a senior from Birmingham, led the MAC with 5.5 sacks among 12.0 tackles-for-loss in 2020, earning the co-MAC Defensive Player of the Year Award and a spot on the all-conference first team. He ranked fourth on the team with 41 tackles while forcing one fumble and recovering one. - Central Michigan Football


(DS#46 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Troy Hairston IICentral Michigan
News Source: Central Michigan Football
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  Florida State quarterback McKenzie Milton and linebacker Amari Gainer earned spots on the Maxwell and Bednarik award watch lists released Monday. Milton, who is in his first season with the Seminoles after arriving in the offseason as a graduate transfer from UCF, is among 80 players named to the preseason watch list for the Maxwell Award. The award is given annually to the best college football player in the country. Milton led UCF to a 27-6 record during his time as the starting quarterback for the Knights, including back-to-back American Athletic Conference Championship titles and consecutive appearances in New Year's Six Access Bowl games in 2017-18. - Orlando Sentinel

(DS#999 QB) rSr/2022 QB McKenzie MiltonFlorida State
News Source: Orlando Sentinel
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  07/20/21 - DE Brenton Cox Jr.rJr/2023, Florida, 6-3, 250 (DS#6 DE) + More +

  Florida expected an instant impact when Cox took the field after transferring from Georgia. He delivered, with eight tackles, a sack and a pass breakup in last year's opener against Ole Miss. After that, meh. The former five-star recruit had some spectacular moments, but he often faded into the defensive woodwork. That's a problem in Todd Grantham's high-pressure scheme, which needs the BUCK position outside linebacker to be a disruptive menace. Consistent play is largely a focus issue, though that didn't completely explain Cox's problem. It turned out his chronically sore left foot had a crack in the fifth metatarsal. Doctors put a screw in it after the season. Cox was spotted on campus in June in a walking boot and getting around with the aid of a scooter. That sparked reports Cox would miss much of the season due to a "scooter accident," but Cox is expected to be ready by the opening game. He flashed star potential on one good foot. It will be interesting to see what Cox can do on two of them. - Gainesville Sun

(DS#6 DE) rJr/2023 DE Brenton Cox Jr.Florida
News Source: Gainesville Sun
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  07/20/21 - RB J.D. KingrSr/2022, Georgia Southern, 5-10, 220 (DS#91 RB) + More +

  Sun Belt Football Media Day is only a few days away, on Thursday, July 22nd, and the conference has announced that Georgia Southern football student-athletes J.D. King and Todd Bradley-Glenn will accompany head coach Chad Lunsford to the 2021 Sun Belt Media Day. Last season, the SBC accumulated an FBS-leading 21 non-conference wins in 2020, including a 3-0 record against Big 12 opponents. Two teams (Coastal Carolina and Louisiana) finished in the final AP Poll, Coaches Poll, and College Football Playoff Rankings for the first time in conference history. In addition to the conference's accomplishments on the football field, the conference boasted a 135 percent increase in TV viewership in 2020, with seven of the conference's games surpassing 1 million viewers. Over the course of the past five football seasons, the conference has posted an FBS-leading .692 winning percentage in bowl games. - Georgia Southern Football

(DS#91 RB) rSr/2022 RB J.D. KingGeorgia Southern
News Source: Georgia Southern Football
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  Eastern Michigan University junior quarterback Preston Hutchinson (Mason, Ohio-Mason) was named to the Maxwell Award preseason Watch List, the Maxwell Football Club announced today, July 19. It is the first time that Hutchinson has been named to the preseason watch list for the award that is given annually to the most outstanding player in college football. The award is proudly sponsored by Mammoth Tech and The Athletes' Corner, which are Executive Partners of the Maxwell Football Club. The Maxwell Award has been presented to the College Player of the Year since 1937 and is named in honor of Robert "Tiny" Maxwell who was a former standout at the Swarthmore College and a renowned sports writer and football official.

Assuming the role of quarterback in 2020 was Hutchinson, who recorded new career-highs in virtually every category. He put together an impressive junior season as he threw for 1,662 yards on 126-of-198 pass attempts, the 22nd most single-season passing yards by a QB in program history while notching two games with 300+ passing yards. The Mason, Ohio native tossed for 12 touchdowns, including a career-best four scores versus Toledo, Nov. 18, and added a career-best 87 rushing attempts for 206 yards and eight touchdowns. - Ann Arbor News


(DS#63 QB) rSr/2022 QB Preston HutchinsonEastern Michigan
News Source: Ann Arbor News
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  The Maxwell Football Club today announced its watch list for the 85th Maxwell Award presented annually to the outstanding player in college football, naming BYU running back Tyler Allgeier to its list of the nation's top players in 2021. Allgeier is one of 80 players recognized on the annual Maxwell Award watch list, which incorporates a broad spectrum of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) programs and conferences from coast to coast. The list features six returning semifinalists from 2020, including Desmond Ridder (Cincinnati), Grayson McCall (Coastal Carolina), Breece Hall (Iowa State), D'Eriq King (Miami), Sam Howell (North Carolina), and Dillon Gabriel (UCF).

Allgeier, a sophomore in eligibility after last year's Covid season, burst onto the national scene in 2020 in his first year as a starter at running back for BYU, rushing for 1,130 yards to rank No. 8 in the nation and No. 1 among players with 150 attempts or less. One of 14 sophomores named to the watch list, Allgeier received 2020 Phil Steele All-America honorable mention after helping BYU go 11-1 and finish ranked No. 11 last season. The 5-11, 220-pound back ranked No. 3 nationally for the most runs of 30 or more yards while averaging 7.53 yards per carry, which was No. 7 in the country and tops among all sophomores. - Daily Herald


(DS#17 RB) Jr/2023 RB Tyler AllgeierBrigham Young
News Source: Daily Herald
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  Already Georgia State's career leader in sacks, senior defensive end Hardrick Willis will look to add to that total this fall. Three-year starter and two-time All-Sun Belt performer has 12.0 career sacks, including 10.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss over the last two seasons. Last fall, the Jonesboro, Ga., native was second on the team and third in the Sun Belt with 6.0 sacks, helping Georgia State rank No. 7 in FBS with a school- record 35 sacks. He was also a key contributor on a GSU defense that allowed averages of 3.86 yards per rush (school record) and 136.7 rushing yards per game (second-best in school history).

Willis teams with senior noseguard Dontae Wilson to give the Panthers a veteran presence on the defensive line, where every key contributor returns. Willis will always hold a special place in Georgia State football lore for a huge play that he made in the Panthers' iconic victory at Tennessee in 2019. That afternoon at Neyland Stadium, on the second play of the game, he caused a fumble that teammate Ed Curney recovered at the UT 23 to set up a touchdown and start the Panthers on their way to the 38-30 win, the first in school history against a Power 5 opponent. - Georgia Southern Football


(DS#125 DE) rSr/2022 DE Hardrick WillisGeorgia State
News Source: Georgia Southern Football
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  07/20/21 - QB Drew PlittrSr/2022, Ball State, 6-1, 217 (DS#31 QB) + More +

  Ball State is the preseason favorite to win the Mid-American Conference football title. The Cardinals were picked to defend their championship as the West Division winner in a MAC media poll released Tuesday. Kent State was selected as the favorite to claim the East Division title. Ball State returns 10 starters on both sides of the ball from a team that won its last seven games during the pandemic-shortened season. The Cardinals closed the year with a 34-13 win over No. 19 San Jose State in the Arizona Bowl and finished ranked No. 23 in The Associated Press college football poll. - AP College Football

(DS#31 QB) rSr/2022 QB Drew PlittBall State
News Source: AP College Football
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  07/19/21 - WR Khalil ShakirSr/2022, Boise State, 6-0, 190 (DS#8 WR) + More +

  Boise State senior wide receiver Khalil Shakir has been named to the Watch List for the 2021 Maxwell Award powered by Mammoth Tech. The Maxwell Award has been presented to the College Player of the Year since 1937. It is named in honor of Robert "Tiny" Maxwell who was a former standout at the Swarthmore College and a renowned sports writer and football official. Shakir recorded 52 receptions for 719 yards and six touchdowns in 2020. He added 148 rushing yards and was one of only two players nationally with 700 yards receiving and 100 yards rushing. - Lewiston Tribune

(DS#8 WR) Sr/2022 WR Khalil ShakirBoise State
News Source: Lewiston Tribune
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  With 20 starters returning, there are lofty expectations in the Arizona State football program this season. So not surprisingly, junior quarterback Jayden Daniels and senior corner Chase Lucas have been named to preseason awards watch lists at their respective positions. Daniels has made the Maxwell Award Watch List for the third time. The returning captain has been the starter since his first game as a freshman and has come up big with games on the line. He is credited with 877 passing yards in the fourth quarter of games in his career, 14th among Power Five quarterbacks since 2019. - Arizona Republic

(DS#8 QB) Jr/2023 QB Jayden DanielsArizona State
News Source: Arizona Republic
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