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90 Players Named to 2020 Maxwell Award Watch List
AP Photos/Paul Sancya (1), Gerald Herbert (2), Mark Wallheiser (3), John Raoux (4)

Aside from the Heisman Trophy, The Maxwell Award is college football’s most prestigious individual honor. Current NFL stars like Cam Newton (2010), Derrick Henry (2015) and Baker Mayfield (2017) were named Maxwell Award winners during their careers as college player of the year. It’s safe to say that the “Other Award” took on a life of its own as the headlining honor at ESPN’s annual Home Depot College Football Awards Show.

Just beyond the mid-way point of every season, the club announces the semifinalists for the Maxwell Award, then trims their selections down a small handful of finalists as the most dominant players in college football. From Oregon to Clemson and everywhere in between, these players make up an incredible batch of talent.

Past Maxwell Award Winners

The Maxwell Award’s history dates back to 1937 when Yale’s Clint Frank won the first-ever honor. Since then, the greatest players in the country claimed the hardware. Past Maxwell Award winners include Penn’s Chuck Bednarik (1948), Navy’s Roger Staubach (1963), Ohio State’s Archie Griffin (1975), Georgia’s Herschel Walker (1982), Tennessee’s Peyton Manning (1997), Purdue’s Drew Brees (2000), Florida’s Tim Tebow (2007 & 2008), Texas’ Colt McCoy (2009), Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o (2012) and Louisville’s Lamar Jackson (2016).

Joining the illustrious list last season was Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow, whose LSU Tigers finished as the No. 1 team in the country with a College Football Playoff National Championship to boot. Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Jalen Hurts and Ohio State defensive end Chase Young were finalists for last year’s honor.

The award is named after Robert “Tiny” Maxwell, an All-American player at Swarthmore College who became a renowned coach, referee, reporter and champion of the game in the early 20th century. He was posthumously inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1974.

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In addition to the Maxwell Award, the Maxwell Football Club sponsors The Chuck Bednarik Award (defensive player of the year), The Davey O’Brien Award (nation’s best quarterback), The Outland Trophy (outstanding interior lineman), The Jim Thorpe Award (top defensive back), and The Doak Walker Award (NCAA’s best running back).

Touchdown-tossing quarterbacks, workhorse running backs and immovable defenders dominate the first Maxwell Award preseason watch list. Here are the 90 outstanding players to watch out for from all across the country headed into a coronavirus-laden schedule for the 2020 college football season.

Maxwell Award Watch List 2020

Tutu Atwell, WR, Louisville
Hank Bachmeier, QB, Boise State
David Bailey, RB, Boston College
Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
Jake Bentley, QB, Utah
Ian Book, QB, Notre Dame
Max Borghi, RB, Washington State
Rakeem Boyd, RB, Arkansas
Charlie Brewer, QB, Baylor
Shamari Brooks, RB, Tulsa

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Journey Brown, RB, Penn State
Shane Buechele, QB, SMU
Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
Jack Coan, QB, Wisconsin
Nico Collins, WR, Michigan
Elijah Collins, RB, Michigan State
K.J. Costello, QB, Mississippi State
Damonte Coxie, WR, Memphis
Dustin Crum, QB, Kent State
Micale Cunningham, QB, Louisville

Jayden Daniels, QB, Arizona State
Jaelon Darden, WR, North Texas
Re’Mahn Davis, RB, Temple
Max Duggan, QB, TCU
Sam Ehlinger, QB, Texas
Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
Dillon Gabriel, QB, UCF
Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Memphis
Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

Javian Hawkins, RB, Louisville
Justin Henderson, RB, Louisiana Tech
Kylin Hill, RB, Mississippi State
George Holani, RB, Boise State
Hendon Hooker, QB, Virginia Tech
Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina
Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State
Caleb Huntley, RB, Ball State
Warren Jackson, WR, Colorado State
Josh Johnson, RB, Louisiana-Monroe

D’Eriq King, QB, Miami
Brenden Knox, RB, Marshall
Bryant Koback, RB, Toledo
Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
Levi Lewis, QB, Louisiana
Adrian Martinez, QB, Nebraska
Jordan Mason, RB, Georgia Tech
Davis Mills, QB, Stanford
Kellen Mond, QB, Texas A&M
Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue

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Tanner Morgan, QB, Minnesota
Jamie Newman, QB, Georgia
Bo Nix, QB, Auburn
Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
Jaret Patterson, RB, Buffalo
Michael Penix, QB, Indiana
Brandon Peters, QB, Illinois
Whop Philyor, WR, Indiana
Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
Kalil Pimpleton, WR, Central Michigan

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Brock Purdy, QB, Iowa State
Chris Reynolds, QB, Charlotte
Ronnie Rivers, RB, Fresno State
Reggie Roberson, WR, SMU
Chris Robison, QB, Florida Atlantic
Stevie Scott, RB, Indiana
Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
Kedon Slovis, QB, USC
DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
B.J. Smith, RB, Troy

Marquez Stevenson, WR, Houston
Derek Stingley Jr., DB, LSU
Carson Strong, QB, Nevada
Sage Surratt, WR, Wake Forest
Tamorrion Terry, WR, Florida State
Zac Thomas, QB, Appalachian State
Skylar Thompson, QB, Kansas State
Dorian Thompson-Robinson, QB, UCLA
Kyle Trask, QB, Florida
Xazavian Valladay, RB, Wyoming

CJ Verdell, RB, Oregon
Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
Tre Walker, WR, San Jose State
Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State
Brady White, QB, Memphis
Seth Williams, WR, Auburn
Pooka Williams, RB, Kansas
Charles Williams, RB, UNLV
Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State

MORE: 2020 Biletnikoff Award Watch List Features 55 Elite Wide Receivers and Pass Catchers

John Duffley About the author:
John joins the FanBuzz team with five years of experience freelancing as a sports writer for TheDupes.net and Football.com. A graduate of Penn State University, John currently lives and works in Austin, Texas. He is also a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA).
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