ASU quarterback Manny Wilkins and wide receiver N’Keal Harry were among the 84 listed on the Maxwell Award preseason watch list, which came out Monday.
The Maxwell Award is given out to the “College Player of the Year,” and the award recipient has coincided with the Heisman Trophy winner each of the last four years.
Entering fall camp, Wilkins is the clear-cut starter for the first time. Last year, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound gunslinger threw for 3,270 yards, 20 touchdowns and just eight interceptions.
This go-round, the senior will be forced, yet again, to adjust to a new offensive coordinator. After Billy Napier left for the head coaching job at Louisiana, former wide receiver’s coach Rob Likens stepped in and has since reduced and simplified the Devils’ playbook.
One thing won’t change, however. You can expect to hear “Wilkins to Harry” a whole lot this year.
Harry enters his junior year as one of the top receivers in the nation. A season ago, the 6-foot-4, 216-pound Arizona native hauled in 82 passes for 1,142 yards and eight touchdowns.
Barring any unforeseen injury, Harry seems destined to be a first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. In Todd McShay’s way-too-early mock draft, Harry was slotted at No. 25 to the Houston Texans.
Last year, the only Sun Devil to make the preseason list was running back Kalen Ballage and the last time two Sun Devils made the same watch list was 2015 when Mike Bercovici and D.J. Foster were named.
Along with Wilkins and Harry, 10 other Pac-12 players, including Arizona’s Khalil Tate, Stanford running back Bryce Love and Washington quarterback Jake Browning, made the list.
The semifinalists will be announced on October 29 and the three finalists will be announced on November 19.