Ole Miss senior defensive end Marquis Haynes has been included on the Bednarik Award watch list, and sophomore quarterback Shea Patterson is on the Maxwell Award watch list, as both were announced by the Maxwell Football Club Monday.
The Maxwell Award, named in honor of Robert W. “Tiny” Maxwell, has been given to America’s College Player of the Year since 1937. Maxwell’s contributions to the game of football were extensive, including time as a player, a sportswriter and an official.
The Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995. Chuck Bednarik, former standout at Penn and with the Philadelphia Eagles, is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame’s Class of ’69 and the NFL Hall of Fame’s Class of ’67.
Patterson makes the Maxwell watch list despite playing in only three games as a true freshman last season. That’s because what he did in those three games — as well as his high school résumé — was impressive, to say the least. In his collegiate debut, the Shreveport, Louisiana, native led the Rebels to an upset road win over No. 8 Texas A&M, directing a second-half comeback for the 29-28 victory. In three contests, he averaged 293.3 passing yards and 56.3 rushing yards per game and totaled six touchdowns with three interceptions.
Returning Maxwell Award winner Lamar Jackson headlines the way for the 2017 watch list class. Jackson capped a brilliant season at Louisville by becoming the first player in school history to win the Maxwell Award.
Haynes, a senior from Jacksonville, Fla., has been a consistent threat in opposing teams’ backfields since his freshman year in 2014 when he helped Ole Miss finish as the nation’s No. 1 scoring defense. The 2017 Chucky Mullins Courage Award winner ranks third in school history with 24.5 career sacks and fourth with 36.5 tackles for loss entering his senior year. A two-time All-SEC selection (2015, 2016), Haynes has led the Rebels in sacks all three years (7.5 in 2014, 10 in 2015, 7 in 2016).
The Chuck Bednarik Award watch list features fresh faces, as 2016 finalists Jonathan Allen (Alabama), Myles Garrett (Texas A&M), and Jabril Peppers (Michigan) have all moved on to the NFL.
Semifinalists for the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced October 30, 2017, while the three finalists for each award will be unveiled November 20, 2017. The winners of the 2017 Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on December 7, 2017. The formal presentations of these awards will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Tropicana Hotel & Casino Atlantic City on March 9, 2018.