In the month of July, the NCAA is announcing preseason award watch list players for 16 different awards over a ten-day span. The announcements began July 11th and nine award watch lists have been released thus far, and Notre Dame Football has a handful of players that made at least one of the lists. The award watch lists that have been revealed so far include: Bednarik, Maxwell, Mackey, Rimington, Lou Groza, Ray Guy, Nagurski, Outland, and Thrope. Notre Dame players have made these lists so far:
Bednarik Award: LB Nyles Morgan
The Bednarik Award was introduced in 1995 and is presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year. Former winners include Charles Woodson, Julius Peppers, and Notre Dame’s very own Manti Te’o in 2012. Nyles Morgan is going to be a senior in the fall and is coming off a career best season which included 4.0 sacks.
Maxwell Award: RB Josh Adams, OT Mike McGlinchey
The Maxwell Award was introduced in 1937 and is given to America’s College Player of the Year. Notre Dame has had a player win the Maxwell Award seven times and the most recent winners include linebacker Manti Te’o in 2012 and quarterback Brady Quinn in 2006. Josh Adams is poised for a big season as the feature back in a crowded Notre Dame backfield. Adams finished last season with a team high 933 rushing yards and added five touchdowns on the ground. McGlinchey will be a senior in the fall and has developed into a nice NFL prospect, but unfortunately for Mike McGlinchey, an offensive lineman has not won the Maxwell Award since 1964.
John Mackey Award: TE Alize Jones, TE Durham Smythe
The John Mackey award has been presented to the nation’s most outstanding tight end since 2000. Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert is the only Fighting Irish player to ever win the award back in 2012. Notre Dame has a history of producing NFL tight ends and Alize Jones and Durham Smythe could possibly be next in line. Jones missed last season due to suspension but Smythe caught a career high four touchdown passes in eights games last season.
Rimington Trophy: C Sam Mustipher
The Rimington Trophy has been awarded to the nation’s most outstanding center since 2000. Notre Dame has never had a player win the award, but Sam Mustipher will look to change that this season. Mustipher will be a senior this fall but will be snapping the ball to a new quarterback this year with Brandon Wimbush taking over for DeShone Kizer.
Outland Trophy: OT Mike McGlinchey, G Quenton Nelson
The Outland Trophy has been presented to the nation’s most outstanding interior lineman since 1946. Notre Dame has had three players win the award, but none since Ross Browner in 1976. Mike McGlinchey and Quenton Nelson will lead a talented Irish line this season and both players are considered to be top prospects at their respective positions for next year’s NFL draft.