PHILADELPHIA – LSU sophomore running back Leonard Fournette was named to the 79th annual Maxwell Award watch list, while LSU senior safety Jalen Mills and junior linebacker Kendell Beckwith were named to the 21st annual Chuck Bednarik Award watch list, the Maxwell Football Club announced Tuesday.
The Maxwell Award is presented each season to America’s College Player of the Year since 1937, and the Bednarik Award is given to the College Defensive Player of the Year.
It is the second time in two days Fournette has earned a spot on a preseason watch list as the Paul Hornung Award featured the All-America candidate on Monday.
Fournette made an immediate impact as a true freshman in 2014 when he set the LSU freshman rushing record with 1,034 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Fournette, who also handled kickoff returns last season, led the Southeastern Conference in all-purpose yards at 137.4 per game, and he ranked fourth in the league in kickoff returns at 26.0 per return.
He closed his freshman season with a flurry, rushing for 146 yards and a touchdown in a win at Texas A&M and followed that with 143 rushing yards and two touchdowns, including an 89-yard scamper, against Notre Dame in the Music City Bowl.
Mills enters his senior season having started all 39 games in his career, racking up 186 tackles and six interceptions.
The Desoto, Texas native will begin his second season as a starter at safety after spending his first two seasons as a starting cornerback.
Last season Mills finished with 62 tackles, five pass breakups, three tackles for a loss, two quarterback hurries, one interception and one fumble recovery.
Beckwith, who started the final seven games of the 2014 season, enters his first full season as the starting middle linebacker after he accumulated 77 tackles, 7.5 tackles for a loss, two sacks, three pass breakups, two quarterback hurries, two fumble recoveries and one interception that he returned 29 yards for a touchdown last year.
A gifted athlete, Beckwith will serve as a leader for the Tigers’ stout defense that ended 2014 ranked No. 1 in the SEC in total defense and No. 2 in scoring defense.
Semifinalists for the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced Nov. 2, while the three finalists for each award will be unveiled Nov. 23. The winners of both awards will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on Dec. 10 in Atlanta.
The members of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) are unveiling their preseason watch lists over a 12-day period this month. Sixteen of the association’s 22 awards select a preseason watch list and the NCFAA has spearheaded a coordinated effort to promote each award’s preseason candidates.
LSU Football on Preseason Watch Lists:
July 6 – The Hornung Award: Fournette
July 7 – Bednarik Award: Beckwith, Mills (full list below)
July 7 – The Maxwell Award: Fournette (full list below)
July 8 – John Mackey Award and Rimington Trophy
July 9 – Lou Groza Award and Ray Guy Award
July 10 – Bronko Nagurski and Outland Trophy
July 13 – Jim Thorpe Award
July 14 – Butkus Award and Rotary Lombardi Award
July 15 – Biletnikoff Award and Wuerffel Trophy
July 16 – Davey O’Brien Award and Doak Walker Award
July 17 – Walter Camp Award and William V. Campbell Trophy
2015 Bednarik Award Watch List
Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson, Soph.
Kevin Anderson, LB, Stanford, Sr.
Budda Baker, S, Washington, Soph.
Dante Barnett, S, Kansas State, Sr.
Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee, Soph.
Kendell Beckwith, LB, LSU, Jr.
Vince Biegel, LB, Wisconsin, Jr.
Zeek Bigger, LB, East Carolina, Sr.
Andrew Billings, NT, Baylor, Jr.
Quin Blanding, S, Virginia, Soph.
Briean Boddy-Calhoun, CB, Minnesota, Sr.
Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State, Jr.
Kentrell Brothers, LB, Missouri, Sr.
Kelby Brown, LB, Duke, Sr.
DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon, Sr.
Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State, Sr.
Michael Caputo, S, Wisconsin, Sr.
Lloyd Carrington, CB, Arizona State, Sr.
Jeremy Cash, S, Duke, Sr.
Brandon Chubb, LB, Wake Forest, Sr.
Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA, Jr.
Maliek Collins, DT, Nebraska, Jr.
Kamalei Correa, DE, Boise State, Jr.
Su’a Cravens, LB, USC, Jr.
Ed Davis, LB, Michigan State, Sr.
Sheldon Day, DT, Notre Dame, Sr.
Kyler Fackrell, LB, Utah State, Sr.
Leonard Floyd, LB, Georgia, Jr.
Josh Forrest, LB, Kentucky, Sr.
Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech, Jr.
Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M, Soph.
Adam Gotsis, DT, Georgia Tech, Sr.
Darius Hamilton, DL, Rutgers, Sr.
Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida, Jr.
Tylor Harris, DT, Wake Forest, Sr.
Myles Jack, LB, UCLA, Jr.
William Jackson, CB, Houston, Sr.
Adoree’ Jackson, CB, USC, Soph.
Jordan Jenkins, LB, Georgia, Sr.
Chris Jones, DT, Mississippi State, Jr.
Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia, Sr.
Bronson Kaufusi, DE, BYU, Sr.
Derrick Kindred, S, TCU, Sr.
Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson, Jr.
William Likely, CB, Maryland, Jr.
Curt Maggitt, LB, Tennessee, Sr.
Blake Martinez, LB, Stanford, Sr.
Tyler Matakevich, LB, Temple, Sr.
Cassanova McKinzy, LB, Auburn, Sr.
Jalen Mills, S, LSU, Sr.
Antonio Morrison, LB, Florida, Sr.
Eric Murray, CB, Minnesota, Sr.
Dadi Nicolas, DE, Virginia Tech, Sr.
Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss, Jr.
Jared Norris, LB, Utah, Sr.
Shawn Oakman, DE, Baylor, Sr.
Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State, Jr.
Will Parks, S, Arizona, Sr.
Joshua Perry, LB, Ohio State, Sr.
Davion Pierson, DT, TCU, Sr.
Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama, Sr.
Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State, Jr.
Sheldon Rankins, DE, Louisville, Sr.
Will Redmond, CB, Mississippi State, Sr.
Pete Robertson, LB, Texas Tech, Sr.
A’Shawn Robinson, DL, Alabama, Jr.
Mike Rose, DE, NC State, Sr.
KeiVarae Russell, CB, Notre Dame, Sr.
Zack Sanchez, CB, Oklahoma, Jr.
Jovan Santos-Knox, LB, Massachusetts, Sr.
Terrance Smith, LB, Florida State, Sr.
Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame, Jr.
Eric Striker, LB, Oklahoma, Sr.
Cameron Sutton, CB, Tennessee, Jr.
Charles Tapper, DE, Oklahoma, Sr.
Darian Thompson, S, Boise State, Sr.
Jeremy Timpf, LB, Army, Jr.
Nick Vigil, LB, Utah State, Jr.
Scooby Wright, LB, Arizona, Jr.
Anthony Zettel, DT, Penn State, Sr.
2015 Maxwell Award Watch List
Kyle Allen, QB, Texas A&M, Soph.
Tommy Armstrong Jr., QB, Nebraska, Jr.
J.T. Barrett, QB, Ohio State, Soph.
Mike Bercovici, QB, Arizona State, Sr.
Devontae Booker, RB , Utah, Sr.
Tyler Boyd, WR, Pitt, Jr.
Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU, Sr.
Matt Breida, RB, Georgia Southern, Jr.
Jacoby Brissett, QB , NC State, Sr.
Leonte Carroo, WR , Rutgers, Sr.
Nick Chubb, RB , Georgia, Soph.
Corey Clement, RB , Wisconsin, Jr.
Alex Collins, RB, Arkansas, Jr.
James Conner, RB , Pitt, Jr.
Dalvin Cook, RB , Florida State, Soph.
Connor Cook, QB , Michigan State, Sr.
Pharoh Cooper, WR, South Carolina, Jr.
Marcus Cox, RB , Appalachian State, Jr.
Kenneth Dixon, RB, Louisiana Tech, Sr.
Joshua Dobbs, QB, Tennessee, Jr.
Josh Doctson, WR, TCU, Sr.
Brandon Doughty, QB , Western Kentucky, Sr.
Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State, Jr.
Kenneth Farrow, RB, Houston, Sr.
D.J. Foster, WR, Arizona State, Sr.
Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU, Soph.
Jarvion Franklin, RB, Western Michigan, Soph.
Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon, Soph.
Jared Goff, QB , Cal, Jr.
Everett Golson, QB, Florida State, Sr.
Aaron Green, RB , TCU, Sr.
Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State, Jr.
DaeSean Hamilton, WR, Penn State, Soph.
Russell Hansbrough, RB, Missouri, Sr.
Derrick Henry, RB , Alabama, Jr.
Rashard Higgins, WR, Colorado State, Jr.
Taysom Hill, QB , BYU, Sr.
Jon Hilliman, RB, Boston College, Soph.
Kevin Hogan, QB , Stanford, Sr.
Kareem Hunt, RB, Toledo, Jr.
Jalen Hurd, RB, Tennessee, Soph.
Justin Jackson, QB, Northwestern, Soph.
Jeremy Johnson, QB, Auburn, Jr.
Devon Johnson, RB, Marshall, Sr.
Cardale Jones, QB, Ohio State, Jr.
Aaron Jones, RB, UTEP, Jr.
Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami, Soph.
Chuckie Keeton, QB , Utah State, Sr.
Cody Kessler, QB, USC, Sr.
Gunner Kiel, QB, Cincinnati, Jr.
Fredi Knighten, QB, Arkansas State, Sr.
Shock Linwood, RB, Baylor, Jr.
Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis, Jr.
Marlon Mack, RB, South Florida, Soph.
Maty Mauk, QB, Missouri, Jr.
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford, Soph.
Elijah McGuire, RB, UL-Lafayette, Jr.
Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State, Sr.
Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma, Soph.
Paul Perkins, RB , UCLA, Jr.
Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State, Sr.
Donnel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego State, Jr.
Brandon Radcliff, RB, Louisville, Jr.
Keenan Reynolds, QB , Navy, Sr.
Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State, Soph.
Seth Russell, QB, Baylor, Jr.
Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma, Sr.
Anu Solomon, QB , Arizona, Soph.
Nelson Spruce, WR, Colorado, Sr.
Nate Sudfeld, QB, Indiana, Sr.
Justin Thomas, QB, Georgia Tech, Jr.
Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss, Jr.
DeAndre Washington, RB, Texas Tech, Sr.
Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson, Soph.
Jonathan Williams, RB, Arkansas, Sr.
Duke Williams, WR, Auburn, Sr.
Marquise Williams, QB , North Carolina, Sr.
Nick Wilson, RB, Arizona, Soph.
Storm Woods, RB, Oregon State, Sr.
Malik Zaire, QB, Notre Dame, Soph.