The month of July means that the kick-off to the 2012 NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision season is a just a little more than a month away. It also means that it’s time for the pre-season awards watch lists to be released. I’m a tad bit late on some of these, but I wanted to compile a more comprehensive list once a few different lists were announced. Yesterday the Football Writers Association of America released the watch lists for both the Outland Trophy (nation’s best interior offensive lineman) and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy (nation’s best defensive player), so in addition to the already-released watch lists for the Rimington Trophy (best center), Chuck Bednarik (best defensive player), John Mackey (nation’s best tight end), and the Maxwell awards (best player), I feel now is a good time to highlight the Irish players named to these lists. I’ll be updating the Irish awards watch lists as the remaining ones are released in the coming weeks.
– John Mackey Award – TE Tyler Eifert
– Outland Trophy – C Braxston Cave, OT Zack Martin
– Rimington Trophy – C Braxston Cave
– Bronko Nagurksi Trophy – DE Kapron Lewis-Moore, LB Manti Te’o
– Chuck Bednarik Award – Manti Te’o, LB
– Maxwell Award – RB Cierre Wood, TE Tyler Eifert
Eifert is the only tight end named to the Maxwell Watch list, and while the odds of him becoming a finalist, let alone winning it, are slim, it is still an impressive feet. He enters the 2012 season after catching 63 passes for 803 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Cave and Matin are two stalwarts on an offensive line brimming with experience, and should help keep Reis off his back and healthy this year. But only Reis can teach himself to hold on to the ball and/or throw to the right team.
Cierre Wood is a bit of shock to me to see on the Maxwell Award list, but he did log in 1102 yards on 217 carries last year (an average of 5.1 yards), but only 9 touchdowns. He did also haul in 27 passes last year for 189 yards.
Kapron Lewis-Moore isn’t that impressive statistically, but is a 3-4 defensive end with potential. Still surprising to see his name on the watch lists as well.
Mantio Te’o is probably the most heralded of the Notre Dame players on this year’s team, as evidenced by his name being placed on both defensive player of the year awards (Bednarik Award is voted on by the head coaches, the Nagurksi by the Football Writers Association of America). Last year Te’o registered 128 tackles and 5.0 sacks.
I’ll be keeping an eye out for the remaining awards watch lists as the are released, and I will update accordingly.
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