Football season is right around the corner and three Aggies have all ready been named to the 2011 Maxwell Award Watch List, The Maxwell Football Club announced Tuesday. Receiver Jeff Fuller, running back Cyrus Gray and quarterback Ryan Tannehill were named to the watch list in their senior campaigns after impressive performances last season.
The three seniors are among 66 players on the list compiled by a committee judging players’ previous performances and potential for the upcoming season.
Tannehill made the list after an impressive junior season, where he took the team and Aggieland by storm. After platooning the first half of the season with senior Jerrod Johnson, Tannehill threw for a school record 449 yards against Texas Tech in his first career start. He went on to throw for 1306 yards, going for 10 touchdowns and only three interceptions. Tannehill seems to have an edge as quarterbacks have won the award every year since 2000 except for the 2002 season, when Penn State running back Larry Johnson won it.
Gray also made a name for himself last season and could become the second running of this millennium to receive the award. Similar to Tannehill, Gray started the season as a back up to sophomore speedster Christine Michael. Gray made a case for the starting spot and went on to have seven consecutive 100 yard rushing games, including a physical 223 yard performance against Texas. Gray also showed a flash of his quarterback days from DeSoto High School when he threw for a touchdown in the Cotton Bowl to wideout Jeff Fuller.
Fuller’s chances are slimmer namely because a receiver hasn’t won the award since Michigan returner/receiver Desmond Howard did in 1991, but he could build his case with another record-breaking season. Fuller passed Bob Long’s record 20 career touchdown receptions against Oklahoma State, and pushed the record to 28 by the end of the season.
Other Big 12 players making the list include OSU receiver Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma receiver Ryan Broyles, Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin, Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones and OSU quarterback Brandon Weeden.
The Maxwell Football Club awards the Maxwell each season to the College Football Player of the Year. The Maxwell is named in honor of Robert W. “Tiny” Maxwell, a college player, official and sports columnist. The winner of each Maxwell College Award is voted by NCAA head coaches, members of the Maxwell Football Club, sportswriters and sportscasters across the nation.
A list of semifinalists will be announced October 31 with the announcement of three finalists coming November 21. The winner will be announced during the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show on December 8.