The first week of college football awards watch lists has completed and Notre Dame is well represented, We covered a few of them individually as they were announced, but with the volume of awards, felt a recap was in order.
Nyles Morgan: Bednarik & Bronco Nagurski Awards
Notre Dame’s star middle linebacker was named to the Bednarik Award watch list on Monday and then closed his week out by landing on the Nagurski Award list. Both the Bednarik and Nagurski Awards are given out to the top overall defensive player in the country. The Bednarik is handed out by the Maxwell Football Club while the Nagurski is voted on by the Football Writers Association of America. Manti Te’o is the only player in Notre Dame history to win either of the awards.
Josh Adams: Maxwell Award
Junior running back Josh Adams could be primed for a huge season in 2017 behind a veteran offensive line. The Maxwell Football Club seems to think so at least since the Maxwell Award is handed out to the best overall player in all of college football. Teammate Mike McGlinchey was also on the Maxwell watch list. Handed out every years since 1937, six Notre Dame football players have won the award previously. Manti Te’o and Brady Quinn were the most recent recipients. The Irish duo were among 84 players nationally to be placed on the Maxwell watch list.
Mike McGlinchey: Maxwell Award & Outland Trophy
Notre Dame’s 5th year senior captain is on both the Maxwell and Outland watch lists. The Outland Trophy is given to the best interior lineman by the FWAA. Notre Dame’s George Connor was the first recipient of the award in 1946. Two years later Notre Dame’s Bill Fischer took home the honors. Since then, Ross Browner is the only Notre Dame player to win the award. McGlinchey could have been a 1st round draft pick back in April had he not returned for a 5th season. He heads into the fall as one of the nation’s top offensive linemen.
Quenton Nelson: Outland Trophy
Like McGlinchey, Quenton Nelson could have left early for the NFL. He might not have been a 1st rounder like McGlinchey was projected to be, but he would have easily been selected in the first three rounds. Nelson returned too, however, and is considered one of the elite interior linemen in the country this year. He and McGlinchey have a very good chance of both being selected in the 1st round of next year’s draft.
Sam Mustipher: Rimington Trophy
A third Notre Dame offensive lineman was honored on the watch list circuit this week. Sam Mustipher was placed on the Rimington watch list on Tuesday. Introduced in 2000, the Rimington Trophy is given to the nation’s top center every year to the consensus top center as determined by the All American teams from: American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), Walter Camp Foundation (WCF), The Sporting News (SN), and Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). No Notre Dame center has ever won the award.
Alize Mack & Durham Smythe: Mackey Award
Notre Dame’s top tight ends were both placed on the Mackey Award watch list on Tuesday. The award is handed out yearly to the nation’s top tight end by the FWAA. Tyler Eifert won the award in 2012.
Notre Dame did not have any players on either the Jim Thorpe, Lou Groza or Ray Guy award watch lists. Something tells me that Justin Yoon will have something to say about that this fall.
More Watch Lists Await
More watch lists will be announced next week. Expect many more Notre Dame players to have their names on some of them. Here’s a quick run down with some predictions on Notre Dame players who should be included.
- Monday, July 17: Butkus Award – given to the nation’s top linebacker, expect Nyles Morgan to be included
- Monday, July 17: Paul Hornung Award – given to the nation’s most versatile player
- Tuesday, July 18: Biletnikoff Award – given to the nation’s top receiver regardless of position, Equanimeous St. Brown better be on it
- Tuesday, July 18: Wuerffel Trophy – given to a player who best exemplifies community service, almost any of Notre Dame’s players could be included.
- Wednesday, July 19: Davey O’Brien Award – given to the nation’s top quarterback, Brandon Wimbush will likely be on the watch list even without any career starts
- Thursday, July 20: Doak Walker Award – given to the best running back, look for Josh Adams here
- Friday, July 21: Walter Camp Award – given to the player of the year; Adams, McGlinchey, St. Brown, and Morgan could all possibly be on the watch list.