The surest sign of the impending college football season is the release of all the college football award watch lists. And sure, they’re all comically crammed full of dozens of guys, many of whom won’t even make their all-conference teams. But there was no straining necessary to place Quinton Flowers on the Maxwell Award watch list, or Deatrick Nichols on the Bednarik Award watch list.
The Maxwell Award is given to the best player in college football. Although Flowers was not on last year’s Maxwell watch list (Marlon Mack was instead), by November he had played his way on to the semifinal list for the Walter Camp Award. He was The American’s offensive player of the year, and after the season he was named the CFPA National Performer of the Year based on his contribution to USF’s 11-2 season. Flowers set school records for touchdown passes (24), rushing yards (1530), total offense (4337 yards) and rushing touchdowns (18).
Plus, it’s an excuse to use this GIF again.
Deatrick Nichols was also on last year’s Bednarik Award watch list, given to the best defensive player in college football. Nichols followed up his first-team all-conference selection in 2015 with a second-team spot last year. He intercepted four passes, broke up seven more, and made three great plays in a row to deny Memphis a game-tying touchdown in the final minute of USF’s thrilling 49-42 win at the Liberty Bowl.
More preseason award watch lists will be issued over the next week or so. Keep an eye out for future editions of Watch List Watch. These will surely not be the only USF players to make the preseason cut.