The preseason award watch lists are a summertime ritual that college football fans use as a milestone in their long trudge through the offseason.
They are also about as meaningful to the season as Amazon Prime Day is to a caveman.
Still, having your favorite team represented on several of these lists is often a sign that the program has caught the attention of national pundits and that, you know, you have some bad-asses on your roster.
UW is faring well so far in the preseason award watch lists. So far, four lists have been announced with UW represented on every one of them. Here is that list so far:
Robert “Tiny” Maxwell Award - College Player of the Year
QB Jake Browning
RB Myles Gaskin
UW comes in strong on the college player of the year watchlist. Louisville’s Lamar Jackson was the winner of this award a year ago. The Huskies are one of only two PAC 12 programs to boast two candidates among the 84 tagged players. Washington State has two candidates of their own.
Alabama lead this year’s field with four candidates while Texas - yee haw - saw three of their own get nominated. Other PAC 12 nominees included Sam Darnold (USC), Bryce Love (Stanford), Luke Falk (WSU), Ryan Nall (Oregon State), Phillip Lindsay (Colorado), Kalen Ballage (ASU), Royce Freeman (Oregon), Cody O’Connell (WSU) and Josh Rosen (UCLA)
Chuck Bednarik Award - Defensive Player of the Year
DL Vita Vea
LB Azeem Victor
The Huskies have two players on the long list of 86 candidates. Having two players on the list is an honor to be sure. Alabama also has two. There are a few other teams with more - tOSU and Florida State each have four players on it while USC has three.
Other PAC 12 names of note include Porter Gustin (USC), Iman Marshall (USC), Kylie Fitts (Utah), Justin Reid (Stanford), Kenny Young (UCLA), Cameron Smith (USC), Lowell Lotuleilei (Utah), Koron Crump (ASU), Troy Dye (Oregon), Hercules Mata’afa (WSU), and Harrison Phillips (Stanford).
John Mackey Award - College Tight End of the Year
TE Drew Sample
The Huskies have some history with the Mackey Award given that UW star Austin Serafin-Jenkins won the prize in 2013. UW boasts a strong stable of tight ends on this year’s roster including Sample, David Ajamu, Will Dissly, Michael Neal and freshman Hunter Bryant. That Sample was nominated despite his role primarily as a blocker is a strong recognition by the committee on the importance of an all around game at the tight end position.
But, yeah, I doubt he wins it. Strong recognition anyhow.
Rimington Award - College Offensive Center of the Year
OL Coleman Shelton
If football players were utility tools then UW’s Shelton would be a Swiss Army knife. The Husky senior has played - nay, he has started - at just about every position on the offensive line during his tenure. Last year, Coleman made the move to Center to fill a pressing need and turned that opportunity into what might become a shot at the NFL.
Shelton joins 71 other candidates across the NCAA on the Rimington Award watch list and, if UW repeats its success from a year ago, might have a decent shot at winning the prize.
The rest of the watch list nominees will be rolled out daily from now through July 21st. The dates are as follows:
July 12 (today) - Lou Groza Award (top kicker) and Ray Guy Award (top punter)
July 13 - Bronco Nagurski Award (most outstanding defender) and Outland Trophy (top interior lineman)
July 14 - Jim Thorpe Award (top defensive back)
July 17 - Butkus Award (top linebacker) and Paul Hornug Award (most versatile player)
July 18 - Biletnikoff Award (top receiver), Wuerffel Trophy (service, academic and on-field performance)
July 19 - Davey O'Brien Award (top quarterback)
July 20 - Doak Walker Award (top running back)
July 21 - Walter Camp Award (nation’s most outstanding player)