Welcome to watch list season!
Yep, college football's individual awards -- I believe we're up to around 257 of them now -- have begun the annual summer tradition of releasing their preseason watch lists. It's an exercise born from a different era, when fans weren't plugged into the game year round and players and teams needed preseason publicity. The lists also signify almost nothing, because Florida State's Jameis Winston wasn't on any watch lists last year, nor was Johnny Manziel in 2012. Being excluded from the preseason watch list doesn't prevent a player from winning the award, and being included means very little except that you had a good season last year or that your school's sports information department did a strong job lobbying for you.
That's a lengthy intro to explain why we won't be posting on every single watch list this summer. They'll mostly be relegated to links and mentions on our Twitter account. We will occasionally write about some that happen to be interesting or have notable snubs, etc.
Watch lists for two of the bigger awards came out on Monday, and since they are notable prizes, we thought they were worth passing along. They are the Maxwell Award, which is presented to the top player in the country, and the Bednarik Award, which goes to the nation's best defensive player. If nothing else, this gives you an idea of where players stand in public perception heading into the season.
Here are the Big Ten players on the Maxwell list:
Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska
Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State
Stefon Diggs, WR, Maryland
Devin Funchess, WR, Michigan
Devin Gardner, QB, Michigan
Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State
Jeremy Langford, RB, Michigan State
Venric Mark, RB, Northwestern
Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State
And for the Bednarik: