Four Arizona State football players received some watch list love Monday with QB Taylor Kelly, RB Marion Grice and DT Will Sutton making the cut for the Maxwell Award and Sutton and Carl Bradford carving out spots on the Bednarik Award list.
The Maxwell Award is presented annually to the college player of the year while the Bednarik Award goes to the college defensive player of the year. With three Sun Devils on the Maxwell Award Watch List, the Sun Devils are tied for the second most representatives out of any school in the nation. Alabama leads the way with four.
Sutton is just one of six defensive players to make the Maxwell Award Watch List. The senior defensive tackle earned Consensus All-American honors in 2012 and has appeared on every major Preseason All-American team for the upcoming season. Sutton was one of ten juniors named a Consensus All-American last season and Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley is the only other defensive player who chose to return to school.
Grice finished the 2012 season with the third most single-season touchdown total in Arizona State history (19). He led the team in both the rushing and all-purpose yards departments and should repeat that feat in 2013 now that Cameron Marshall has graduated to the pros.
Kelly is also coming off a breakthrough campaign in his first year starting for the Devils, setting records in completion percentage (67.1%) and passing efficiency (159.9). His 29 touchdown tosses were also the second most in school history so don't be surprised if Kelly owns the record book by the time junior year is over.
Bradford's Bednarik nomination might be the most surprising of the four but when you really look at the numbers you'll quickly see why he earned the national respect. Bradford was second on the team in sacks (11.5) and tackles for loss (20.5) and forced three fumbles while recovering two. Those statistics are fully expected to rise too considering all the double team attention his sack partner in crime Sutton will be attracting this season.
The Maxwell Football Club presents both honors and instituted the Maxwell Award in 1937 when it honored Yale halfback Clint Frank. The club initiated the award Bednarik Award in 1995 and honored current Northwestern Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald that year.