The 2022 college football campaign is merely a month away which means it is time for preseason awards watch lists. Around the country, various organizations have submitted their rosters of top players at each of their respective positions to keep an eye on this coming fall.
The Florida Gators are usually well-represented on these lists and this season is no exception. Over the past week, the names of Orange and Blue athletes have trickled out, headlined by starting quarterback Anthony Richardson’s inclusion for the prestigious Maxwell Award, which is issued to the best overall player on the collegiate gridiron, as well as a handful of others.
Take a look below at the eight Florida football players who earned spots on eight preseason watch lists along with an official description of the award from the presenters themselves. Not only will the Gator Nation be watching these players closely but also the committees that assign these superlative honors.
Anthony Richardson - Maxwell Award
AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack
The Maxwell Award is presented to the best player in college football. The award is named after Robert “Tiny” Maxwell, a Swarthmore College football player, coach, and sportswriter. The Maxwell Football Club was founded in 1935 by his friend, Bert Bell, to present awards in his name to promote football safety. The Maxwell Award was founded in 1937.
Brenton Cox Jr. - Chuck Bednarik Award
UAA Communications/Leslie White
The Chuck Bednarik Award is presented to the best defensive player in college football. The award is named after Chuck Bednarik, who was a 2x NFL Champion and 10x 1st Team All-Pro Linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1949-1962. Chuck was the last player in NFL history to play both ways of the ball full time. Chuck is also a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame. The Chuck Bednarik Award was established in 1995.
Nay’Quan Wright - Doak Walker Award & Wuerffel Trophy
Syndication: Gainesville Sun
The prestigious Doak Walker Award was created in 1989 to recognize the nation’s premier running back for his accomplishments on the field, achievement in the classroom and citizenship in the community.
It is the only major collegiate football award that requires all candidates to be in good academic standing and on schedule to graduate within one year of other students of the same classification.
Honoring college football’s most impactful leaders in community service, The Wuerffel Trophy is presented to the FBS player who best combines exemplary community service with leadership achievement on and off the field. National voters consider nominees from over 100 major universities. The Wuerffel Trophy brothers support each other’s efforts around the country.
Named for Danny Wuerffel, 1996 National Championship winning quarterback of the University of Florida Gators – who is renowned for his commitment to service and leadership – The Wuerffel Trophy is the premier major college football award that places the majority of its voting emphasis on Community Service.
Kingsley Eguakun - Rimington Trophy
UAA Communications/Hannah White
The Rimington Trophy is proud to release its 2022 preseason Watchlist. This year, the Trophy committee worked with Pro Football Focus (PFF) to narrow down its list to the top 40 centers. PFF grades every player on every play of every game on how well they execute their given assignment. That play-by-play grading allowed the Trophy committee to create a watchlist based both on nominations from the schools and data provided by PFF. Once the season begins, schools will be able to nominate their centers for late addition based on in-season merit.
Ventrell Miller - Butkus Award
AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack
Instituted in 1985, The Butkus Award is one of the elite individual honors in college football. In 2008, The Butkus Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization, took stewardship of the award to fully realize the original purpose of honoring athletic achievement and service to the community while honoring the nation’s best high school, college, and professional linebackers. An independent Butkus Award Selection Committee comprised of 51 experts, including professional, college and high school scouts, and prominent sports journalists, conduct the selection process.
Gervon Dexter - Outland Trophy
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Outland Trophy winner is chosen from three finalists who are a part of the annual FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the entire membership, selects a 26-man first team and eventually the three Outland finalists. Committee members, then by individual ballot, select the winner. Only interior linemen on offense or defense are eligible for the award; ends are not eligible.
O’Cyrus Torrence - Outland Trophy
UAA Communications/Isabella Marley
The Outland Trophy is the third-oldest major college football award. Created in 1946 when Dr. John Outland presented the FWAA with a financial contribution to initiate the award, the Outland Trophy has been given to the best interior lineman in college football ever since.
Marco Ortiz - Patrick Mannelly Award
UAA Communications/Leslie White
Long snappers don’t make the cover of the program. They’re rarely asked to sign autographs. You don’t typically see them being interviewed before the game. But long snappers aren’t driven by these things. Quiet, selfless, focused and courageous, the long snapper is content to trade conventional superstardom for the opportunity to do one job very well.
The Patrick Mannelly Award presented by Zebra Technologies is a new vehicle through which football’s unsung workhorses can finally bask in the warm glow of appreciation. Now we celebrate the best long snappers in college football. And in doing so, we honor the long snapper in all of us.
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