Watson, Lawson, Alexander named to watch lists

Watson, Lawson, Alexander named to watch lists


Watson, Lawson, Alexander named to watch lists


Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, defensive tackle Shaq Lawson and defensive back Mackensie Alexander were all named as candidates to major national award lists on Tuesday.

Watson was named to the Maxwell Award watch list as the nation’s best player, while Alexander was named to the Jim Thorpe Award list as the nation’s best defensive back.

Watson threw for 1,466 yards and 14 touchdowns in just eight games, with a passing efficiency rating of 188.6 which was second in the country. Clemson’s offense averaged 530 yards and 42 points per game in 2014 when he played the majority of the snaps. He led the Tigers to a 35-14 victory over rival South Carolina in the regular-season finale, despite playing with a torn ACL.

Lawson was named to the Bednarik Award Watch list as the nation’s best defensive player. The Clemson defensive end recorded 44 tackles as a reserve, including 11.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. Hi 44 tackles led all defensive ends on the team, including All-American Vic Beasley.

Alexander became one of the best cover corners in the ACC last season after allowing very few passes to be completed. He held Oklahoma’s top receiver to one catch for 13 yards in the Russell Athletic Bowl.

Last year, Alexander had 22 tackles and broke up six passes.

A total of 14 Atlantic Coast Conference defensive players have been selected to the preseason watch list for the Bednarik Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top defensive player, while 11 ACC players have been chosen to the preseason watch list for the Maxwell Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top collegiate player.

Both awards are presented by the Maxwell Club which announced its watch lists for the 79th annual Maxwell Award and the 21st  annual Chuck Bednarik Award.

The Maxwell Award, named in honor of Robert W. “Tiny” Maxwell, has been given to America’s College Player of the Year since 1937. Maxwell’s contributions to the game of football were extensive, including time as a player, a sportswriter and an official. The Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995. Chuck Bednarik, former standout at Penn and with the Philadelphia Eagles, is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame’s Class of ’69 and the NFL Hall of Fame’s Class of ’67.

Pitt’s Aaron Donald was the last ACC player to capture the Bednarik Award, as the Panthers former defensive defensive tackle took the honor in 2013. Florida State quarterback Charlie Ward was the last ACC player to win the Maxwell in 1993, though Miami’s Ken Dorsey took home the honor in 2001.

Six ACC quarterbacks made the Maxwell list, including Deshaun Watson of Clemson, Justin Thomas of Georgia Tech, Brad Kaaya of Miami, Marquise Williams of North Carolina, Jacoby Brissett of NC State and former Notre Dame starter Everett Golson who transferred to Florida State after graduating.

Five ACC defensive backs who will be competing for the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back also made the preseason Bednarik list in Mackensie Alexander of Clemson, Jeremy Cash of Duke, Jalen Ramsey of Florida State, Quin Blanding of Virginia and Kendall Fuller of Virginia Tech.

The ACC Members of the 2015 preseason Bednarik watch list are:

Name                                                    School                      Pos.               Cl.           Hometown        

Mackensie Alexander                    Clemson                  CB                   So.-R     Immokalee, Fla.

Quin Blanding                                    Virginia                     S                      So.          Virginia Beach, Va.

Kelby Brown                                      Duke                         LB                   Sr.-R      Matthews, N.C.

Jeremy Cash                                      Duke                         S                      Sr.-R      Miami, Fla.

Brandon Chubb                                Wake Forest          LB                   Sr.-R      Powder Springs, Ga.

Kendall Fuller                                     Virginia Tech          CB                   Jr.           Baltimore, Md.

Adam Gotsis                                      Georgia Tech         DT                   Sr.           Abbotsford, Victoria, Canada

Tylor Harris                                         Wake Forest          DT                   Sr.           Baton Rouge, La.

Shaq Lawson                                      Clemson                  DE                   Jr.           Central, S.C.

Dadi Nicolas                                        Virginia Tech          DE                   Sr.-R      Delray Beach, Fla.

Jalen Ramsey                                     Florida State           DB                  Jr.           Smyrna, Tenn.

Sheldon Rankins                               Louisville                  DE                   Sr.           Covington, Ga.

Mike Rose                                           NC State                  DE                   Jr.-R       Fountain Inn, S.C.

Terrance Smith                                 Florida State           LB                   Sr.-R      Decatur, Ga.


The ACC members of the 2015 preseason Maxwell Award list are:


Name                                                    School                      Pos.               Cl.           Hometown        

Tyler Boyd                                           Pitt                             WR                 Jr.           Clairton, Pa.

Jacoby Brissett                                  NC State                  QB                  Sr.-R      West Palm Beach, Fla.

James Conner                                   Pitt                             RB                   Jr.           Erie, Pa.

Dalvin Cook                                        Florida State           RB                   So.          Miami, Fla.

Everett Golson                                  Florida State           QB                  Sr.-R      Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Jon Hilliman                                        Boston College      RB                   So.          Plainfield, N.J.

Brad Kaaya                                          Miami                       QB                  So.          West Hills, Calif.

Brandon Radcliff                               Louisville                  RB                   Jr.-R       Miami, Fla.

Justin Thomas                                   Georgia Tech         QB                  Jr.-R       Prattville, Ala.

Deshaun Watson                             Clemson                  QB                  So.          Gainesville, Ga.

Marquise Williams                           North Carolina       QB                  Sr.           Charlotte, N.C.




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