Nebraska Football Players at Game Against Iowa
Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Watch List SZN: Keeping Track of Huskers on Preseason Watch Lists

August 21, 2019

It is officially time for college football’s annual postseason awards to start rolling out their preseason watch lists. Some of them are interesting. Some of them name any player at a specific position with a pulse. All of them are, year after year, talked about. 

Over the next few weeks, the different awarding organizations will be announcing their watch lists and this will be the place to keep track of all the Huskers that show up on those lists. It will be continuously updated to reflect new names on the different watch lists.

Maxwell Award

Sophomore quarterback Adrian Martinez is one of 11 Big Ten players on the initial Maxwell watch list. He’ll look to become Nebraska’s second-ever winner of the award, following 1983 winner Mike Rozier.

Martinez has as much offseason hype as any one player can have on the heels of a record-breaking freshman year in 2018. The Fresno, California, native set 11 school records after becoming the first true freshman quarterback to start an opener in school history.  On the season, Martinez completed 64.6 percent passes for 2,617 yards and 17 touchdowns, while also rushing for 629 yards and eight scores en route to All-Big Ten and Freshman All-America honors.

The award is presented by the Maxwell Football Club and given annually to the “nation's most outstanding college football player.” Semifinalists for the Maxwell Award will be announced October 29, 2019, while the three finalists will be unveiled November 25, 2019. The winner of the 2019 Maxwell Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on December 12, 2019.

Bednarik Award

This award is also presented by the Maxwell Football Club and given annually to college football’s defensive player of the year. Ndamukong Suh, in 2009, is the only Husker to win the award.

Lott IMPACT Trophy

Senior inside linebacker Mohamed Barry is on the initial 42-man watch list for the Lott IMPACT Trophy. He's one of 18 linebackers and only 10 B1G players on the  preseason list. No Husker has ever won the award. 

A consensus All-Big Ten selection last season, the 6-foot-1, 230-pound linebacker from Georgia is coming off his best season ever. Barry led the Huskers and ranked second in the Big Ten with 112 tackles, including 55 solo tackles, and added 11 tackles for loss and two sacks from his inside linebacker position. His 112 tackles were the most by a Husker since NFL All-Pro Lavonte David totaled 133 stops in 2011.

The award is given annually to "the best college football defender in both character and performance" by the Pacific Club Impact Foundation.

Davey O’Brien Award

Martinez also appears on the Davey O’Brien Award watch list. He’s one of only three Big Ten quarterbacks on the 30-man list and one of only six sophomores to make the cut. 

The award is presented annually to the nation's best quarterback by the Davey O'Brien Foundation. Eric Crouch is the only other Husker to win the award since its inception in 1981. Sixteen semifinalists will be named on Nov. 13 and three finalists will be named on Nov. 25. The 2019 Davey O’Brien Award winner will be unveiled live on ESPN during The Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 12.

Doak Walker Award

This award is presented to the nation's premier running back by the PwC SMU Athletic Forum. Nebraska did not have a runner on the preseason watch list.

Biletnikoff Award

JD Spielman is one of only five Big Ten players on the 50-member on the Biletnikoff Award watch list. It’s also the second straight year the wide receiver has been placed on the list.

The 5-foot-9, 180-pound wide receiver is preparing for his junior season with Nebraska. He has the potential to be one of the most prolific receivers in Huskers history, being only 68 catches and 1,099 yards away from the Husker career record in both categories.

The award is presented to the nation's outstanding college receiver by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation. The winner will be presented live on December 12, 2019, at the Home Depot College Football Awards on ESPN.

John Mackey Award

Presented to the nation's most outstanding tight end by the Friends of John Mackey. Jack Stoll made the list for the second consecutive year becoming the first Husker to make it in back-to-back seasons since Kyler Reed did it in 2011 and 2012. Stoll led Husker tight ends with 21 catches for 245 yards and three touchdowns.

Rimington Trophy

Presented to the nation's premier center by the Boomer Esiason Foundation, and named after Nebraska legend Dave Rimington. The 2019 watch list was released on July 19. Nebraska did not have a player on it. The Huskers haven’t won the trophy since 2000.

Butkus Award

Barry is one of 12 Big Ten linebackers on the initial 51-man watch list.

The award is presented to the nation's best linebacker by the Butkus Foundation. Semi-finalists will be named Nov. 4, finalists Nov. 25, and the winner will be announced on or before December 10.

Jim Thorpe Award

Presented to the nation's best defensive back by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. The 2019 watch list was released on July 22. Nebraska did not have a player on it.

Bronko Nagurski Trophy

Presented to the nation's most outstanding defensive player by the Charlotte Touchdown Club. The 2019 watch list was released on July 23. Nebraska did not have a player on it.

Outland Trophy

Presented to the nation's most outstanding interior lineman by the Football Writers Association of America. The 2019 watch list was released on July 23. Nebraska did not have a player on it.

Lou Groza Award

Presented to the nation's top place-kicker by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission. The 2019 watch list was released on July 24. Nebraska did not have a player on it.

Ray Guy Award

Presented to the college punter of the year by the Augusta (Ga.) Sports Council. The 2019 watch list was released on July 24. Nebraska did not have a player on it.

Paul Hornung Award

Spielman is also on the watch list for the award presented to the most versatile player in college football by the Louisville Sports Commission. 

He’s one of eight Big Ten players on the 44-man list. (The SEC had more preliminary guys than the SEC.) Finalists will be announced on Nov. 14 and the winner will be named on Dec. 1. Purdue’s Rondale Moore won the award last season.

Wuerffel Trophy

Junior defensive end Ben Stille made the initial 93-man watch list for the Danny Wuerffel Trophy.

Stille started 11 games last season and he’s expected to once again be a key figure in the Nebraska defense. He has also received Academic All-Big Ten honors in 2017 and 2018, the Sam Foltz Hero 27 Leadership Award and made the Brook Berringer and Tom Osborne Citizenship Teams. 

During his time in Lincoln, Stille has regularly volunteered Husker Heroes, Osborne’s TeamMates program, FCA and the Nebraska Football Road Race. 

The trophy is presented annually to the player who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement by the All Sports Association of Fort Walton Beach. Semi-finalists for the award will be announced on Nov. 5 and finalists on Nov. 18. The winner will be named on Dec. 10.

Dodd Trophy

Head coach Scott Frost was named to the preseason watch list for the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Trophy, given annually to the best coach in the country. He’s one of six Big Ten coaches on the 23-man list.

Named for former Georgia Tech coach Bobby Dodd, the Dodd Trophy was established in 1976 to “honor the FBS football coach whose program represents three pillars of success: Scholarship, Leadership and Integrity.” Osborne won the trophy in 1978.

The winner of the 2019 Dodd Trophy will be announced in Atlanta during the week of the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. The Peach Bowl is one of two CFP semifinal sites this season; the game is on Dec. 28.

Walter Camp Award

Landing on the 2019 Walter Camp Award watch list makes three for Martinez this summer. Announced on Friday, he was one of 40 players across the country and one of seven Big Ten players to garner recognition.

The award is presented to the nation's most outstanding player by the Walter Camp Football Foundation at the end of each season. The watch list will be narrowed to 10 semi-finalists in mid-November, with the winner being named on ESPN on Dec. 12.

Patrick Mannelly Award

A brand new award named after the former Chicago Bear long-snapper, it’s presented to college football’s best senior long-snapper. The 2019 watch list will be released on Aug. 1.

Manning Award

On Aug. 21 the Manning Award, presented by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, released its initial 30-man watch list and Martinez found his name amongst honorees once again. The Manning Award was created by the Sugar Bowl in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that includes the candidates’ bowl performances in its balloting. Ten finalists will be announced on Thursday, Nov. 28, while the winner will be announced in the week following the College Football Playoff National Championship.

Martinez is one of only three Big Ten quarterbacks (joining Shea Patterson and Nate Stanley) on the initial watch list and one of only four sophomores (joining Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, Iowa State’s Brock Purdy and Texas Tech’s Alan Bowman).

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