SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Sports) - BYU quarterback Riley Nelson and Utah Utes Running back John White IV have both been named to the Maxwell Award preseason watch list.
The award is given to America’s most outstanding college football player. Nelson and White are two of the 65 players on the list.
Nelson led BYU to a 6-1 record as a starter in 2011 and helped the Cougars to its fifth 10-win season in the last six years. The Logan, Utah product passed for 1,717 yards, 19 touchdowns and rushed for 392 yards and one score. His pass efficiency rating of 152.93 was No. 16 in the country last year and helped BYU rank No. 5 in third down conversions for the season.
BYU has one Maxwell Award winner, quarterback Ty Detmer, winning the award in 1990. The Cougars have had several players named to the watch list over the years.
White, a Heisman candidate, who finished second in the Pac-12 and 11th in the nation in rushing (116.8 yards per game) a year ago as a junior, broke a 29-year-old school record by rushing for 1,519 yards. Second-team all-Pac-12, honorable mention SI.com All-American and the Sun Bowl MVP, White led the league and ranked third in the nation in carries (316) in his first NCAA season.
The Maxwell Award has been given to America's most outstanding collegiate football player since 1937, and is named in honor of sportswriter Robert W. "Tiny" Maxwell. The watch list will once again incorporate a broad spectrum of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) programs and conferences from coast to coast. Returning Maxwell Award semifinalists from 2011 include USC QB Matt Barkley, Clemson QB Tajh Boyd, Oklahoma QB Landry Jones and USC WR Robert Woods.
The watch list candidates were chosen by the Maxwell Football Club's selection committee. Semifinalists for the Maxwell Award will be announced October 29, and the three finalists will be unveiled November 19. The winner of the 2012 Maxwell Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show held on December 6. The formal presentation of the award will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Harrah's Entertainment Atlantic City on March 1, 2013.2012 Maxwell Award Watch ListIn related news:
Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei is one of 65 preseason candidates for the Bednarik Award--presented to the nation's top defensive player since 1995. Defensive players are also eligible for the Maxwell Award and will be considered once the season gets underway.
Lotulelei was recently named a preseason first-team All-American by Phil Steele and Blue Ribbon Football Yearbook and is Blue Ribbon's preseason Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. Lotulelei and White are preseason first-team all-Pac-12 picks by both Phil Steele and Blue Ribbon.
Lotulelei, considered by many to be the best interior defensive lineman in the country, was named first-team all-Pac-12 in 2011 when he won the Morris Trophy as the Pac-12's best defensive lineman. Some scouting services have projected the 6'4", 325 pound senior as the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NFL draft.