On Tuesday the initial watch lists for the Maxwell Award and Bednarik Award were released and not a single Penn State player was listed on the list of candidates for two of the most prestigious awards handed out by the Maxwell Football Club.
In all, ten Big Ten players were named to the Maxwell Award Watch List. Seven Big Ten players were listed on the Bednarik Award watch list. Penn State was not the only high-profile school from the Big Ten to be left off of both lists. Ohio State failed to land one player on either list.
Penn State will feature a couple of young offensive weapons this season with quarterback Rob Bolden competing for the starting job once again in his sophomore season. Another sophomore, running back Silas Redd, is also looking to become a primary option for the offense. The fact that these sophomores are not listed on the Maxwell Award watch list is by no means a surprise. The big surprise comes on defense, which has nobody worth mentioning on the watch list according to the Maxwell Football Club.
Though players such as Michael Mauti, D’Anton Lynn, Nathan Stupar and Nick Sukay are considered some of the best defensive players on Penn State, the entire defense left something to be desired last season. Perhaps the overall production held back Penn State’s chances of having a player at least mentioned on a watch list for the top defensive award.
A Penn State player has won the Bednarik Award four times, the most by any single school. Linebacker Paul Posluszny won the award in 2005 and 2006, and Dan Connor succeeded him by winning the award in 2007. LaVar Arrington was the first Penn State player to win the award, doing so in 1999. Northwestern is the only other school to have won two Bednarik Awards (awarded since 1995), with current coach and former linebacker Pat Fitzgerald winning the first two Bednarik Awards in 1995 and 1996.
Clearly, Penn State’s reputation for the award did not play a role in configuring the watch list. This does not mean a Penn State player will not be considered for the award though.
The Maxwell Football Club reserves the right to make additions and deletions to these lists as the 2011 season unfolds, which means that a player could be added at any time, even if it comes before the October 31 release of the semifinalists for the Bednarik Award. A player can also be added to the Maxwell Award watch list in the same fashion so if Redd gets off to a fantastic start running the ball, then he could hypothetically be in the running.
View the full watch lists for the Maxwell Award and Bednarik Award.
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