The 12 Big had nine athletes named to the 77th annual Maxwell Award watch list, and 14 athletes selected to the 20th annual Chuck Bednarik Award watch list, the most in the conference’s history. Five Big 12 athletes were also named to the Paul Hornung watch list.
Since 1937, the Maxwell Award has been presented to the America’s outstanding college football player, as chosen by the Maxwell Football Club’s selection committee. The Big 12’s representatives on the Maxwell watch list include quarterbacks Trevor Knight (Oklahoma), Jake Waters (K-State), Davis Webb (Texas Tech) and returning semifinalist Bryce Petty (Baylor). The running back contingent includes Malcolm Brown (Texas), Johnathan Gray (Texas) and Shock Linwood (Baylor), in addition to wide receivers Antwan Goodley (Baylor) and Tyler Lockett (K-State).
The Chuck Bednarik Award, also selected by the Maxwell Football Club selection committee, has been given annually to the nation’s top defensive player since 1995. Oklahoma, TCU and Texas lead the conference with three selections each. In total, seven Big 12 defensive linemen were listed, including Malcom Brown (Texas), Devonte Fields (TCU), Chucky Hayes (TCU), Ryan Mueller (K-State), Shawn Oakman (Baylor), Cedric Reed (Texas) and Charles Tapper (Oklahoma). Linebackers Bryce Hage (Baylor), Ben Heeney (Kansas), Frank Shannon (Oklahoma) and Eric Striker (Oklahoma) are also candidates for the award. Rounding out the conference’s highest-ever total of 14 watch list members are safeties Sam Carter (TCU) and Karl Joseph (WVU), as well as cornerback Quandre Diggs (Texas).
The Paul Hornung Award, now in its fifth season, is given to the most versatile player in major college football, by the Louisville Sports Commission. Tavon Austin of West Virginia is the most recent Big 12 representative to win the award after an electric 2012 season. This year’s representatives include three running backs in B.J. Catalon (TCU), Kenny Williams (Texas Tech) and Aaron Wimberly (Iowa State), as well as wide receivers Lockett (K-State) and Levi Norwood (Baylor).
Semifinalists for the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced on November 3, 2014. The three finalists for each trophy will be announced November 24, and the winners will be announced December 11.
The winner of the Paul Hornung Award will be honored at the Paul Hornung Award Banquet in January 2015.