Kentucky sophomore running back Benny Snell Jr. has been named to the Maxwell Award watch list, while junior linebacker Jordan Jones has been named to the Chuck Bednarik Award watch list, the Maxwell Football Club announced Monday.
Snell, a native of Westerville, Ohio, had a record-breaking season with the Wildcats in 2016. He set six UK freshman records despite not have a rushing attempt until the third game of the season. His records include most rushing touchdowns in a game (four), most rushing yards by a freshman (1,091), most rushing touchdowns by a freshman (13), most total touchdowns by a freshman (13), most 100-yard rushing games (five) and most rushing yards by a freshman in a single game (192). He was named a Freshman All-American by the Football Writers Association of America, ESPN and 247Sports and recently was named third-team All-SEC by Athlon Sports.
The Maxwell Award, named in honor of Robert W. “Tiny” Maxwell, has been given to 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.
Louisville’s Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, junior Lamar Jackson, and Western Kentucky senior quarterback Mike White also were named to the 85-player Maxwell Award watch list.
Jones, a native of Youngstown, Ohio, led the Southeastern Conference and ranked 16th nationally in solo tackles per game last season with 5.7 per game and ranked third in total tackles per game with 8.4. He totaled a team-high 109 tackles and led the Wildcats with 15.5 tackles for loss. He has earned preseason All-America honors by Athlon (third team) and preseason first-team All-SEC honors by Athlon Sports and Southern Pigskin.
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 Pro Football Hall of Fame’s class of ’67.
Louisville junior cornerback Jaire Alexander also was named to the 85-player Bednarik watch list.
Semifinalists for the Maxwell and Bednarik awards will be announced Oct. 30, while the three finalists for each award will be revealed Nov. 20. The winners of the 2017 Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Dec. 7.