NC Maxwell, Bednarik, and Hornung Award Watch List Members


College football is around the corner and so the college football award clubs are putting out their award watch lists. The value of these watch lists is questionable as they are supposed to be broad enough to cover enough possible winners, but restricted enough so that their voters don’t find it impossible to keep up with these guys. Guys that are not on the watch list now can still win these awards, so the Watch List is an exercise in who we think will be good, not who actually will be good.

Nov 23, 2013; Raleigh, NC, USA; East Carolina Pirates quarterback Shane Carden (5) throws a 4th quarter touchdown pass against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Carter Finley Stadium. The East Carolina Pirates defeated the North Carolina State Wolfpack 42-28. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The Maxwell Award- Outstanding College Player of the Year (Who May or May Not Have Won the Heisman)

Local Candidates-
Anthony Boone – QB- JR- Duke
Jacoby Brissett- QB- JR- NC State
Shane Carden- QB- SR- East Carolina
Jamison Crowder- WR- SR- Duke
Justin Hardy- WR- SR- East Carolina

You can see a pattern here. Whether quarterbacks or receivers will come out on top will depends on much the ball gets spread around. If Boone or Carden has a great year and spreads the ball around then they will be the potential finalists. If they lean on Crowder and Hardy too heavily then the wideouts will have a better chance. They will not all be there. Brissett is assumed to generate a lot of stats since Doeren is responsible for the offense that had Jordan Lynch do that at Northern Illinois. Also, have you seen State’s schedule?

Dec 7, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils wide receiver Jamison Crowder (3) catches a pass during the first quarter against the Florida State Seminoles at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Paul Hornung Award- The Most Versatile Player in College Football

Local Candidates-
Jamison Crowder- WR- SR- Duke
DeVon Edwards- DB- SO- Duke
Justin Hardy- WR- SR- East Carolina
TJ Logan- RB- SO- North Carolina
Ryan Switzer- WR- SO- North Carolina

The pattern should be obvious. These are all guys who contribute on special teams as well as produce on offense. That heavily advantages Crowder, who is far more guaranteed of good offensive production on top of special teams contribution. Switzer will likely grow into but not take over the UNC pass game. Switzer and Logan kind of compete for offensive production, but perform different roles in special teams.

Dec 28, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels linebacker Norkeithus Otis (8) sacks Cincinnati Bearcats quarterback Brendon Kay (11) during the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Bednarik Award- Best Defensive Player in the Nation

Local Candidates-
Kelby Brown- LB- SR- Duke
Jeremy Cash- S- JR-Duke
Norkeithus Otis- DE/LB- SR- North Carolina

The pattern here is stat stuffers. Brown and Cash have piled up tackles in the last year with Ohio State-transfer Cash having the opportunity to add interceptions. Otis plays the bandit position for the UNC 4-2-5 defense and developed into a real pass rusher last season. Those sacks are driving his inclusion here.

Did they get it right? Or was your favorite player snubbed? Feel free to leave a comment below.