Running back Johnathan Franklin and safety Tony Dye have been named to preseason watch lists for the Maxwell Award and the Bednarik Award, respectively. The Maxwell Award is in its 75th year and honors the most outstanding collegiate football player. The Bednarik Award is celebrating its 17th year and honors the nation’s top defensive player.
Both Franklin and Dye were UCLA’s offensive and defensive team MVPs, respectively. Franklin led the offense as he rushed for over 1000 yards. Dye led the defense with 96 total tackles.
As always, the watch lists incorporate a broad spectrum of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) programs and conferences from coast to coast. Returning Maxwell Award semifinalists from 2010 include Oklahoma State WR Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma WR Ryan Broyles, Baylor QB Robert Griffin, Oregon RB LaMichael James, Stanford QB Andrew Luck, Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez, Boise State QB Kellen Moore, and Michigan QB Denard Robinson.
The Bednarik Award watch list features just three of last season’s semifinalists, Florida State DE Brandon Jenkins, Boston College LB Luke Kuechly, and Notre Dame LB Manti Te’o.
The 2010 Maxwell Award winner, QB Cam Newton of Auburn, and Bednarik Award winner, LSU CB Patrick Peterson, both left school early following their junior seasons. Newton was selected No. 1 overall by the Carolina Panthers, while Peterson was taken fifth in the first round by the Arizona Cardinals.
Semifinalists for the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced October 31st and the three finalists for each award will be unveiled November 21st. The winners of the 2011 Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced as part of the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show held on December 8th. The formal presentation of these awards will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Harrah’s Entertainment Atlantic City on March 2nd 2012.
The watch list candidates have been chosen by the Maxwell Football Club’s selection committee, evaluating past performance and future potential. The Club reserves the right to make additions and deletions to these lists as the 2011 season unfolds. All members of the Maxwell Football Club, NCAA sports information directors, head coaches, and selected national media are eligible to vote for the awards.
The Maxwell and Bednarik Awards are members of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game’s predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients. For more information, visit the association’s official website, ncfaa.org.