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2015 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List Unveiled

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2015 BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY WATCH LIST UNVEILED
88 players get consideration for defensive player of the year

DALLAS (FWAA) – The 2014 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner Scooby Wright III tops the 88-man 2015 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List announced by the Football Writers Association of America on Friday.

Wright, a junior linebacker from Arizona, will seek to become only the second player in the 22-year history of the award to win it twice after Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald in 1995-96. Ohio State end Joey Bosa, another first team FWAA All-America from 2014, also returns as a junior to challenge Wright.

Photo - DE Joey Bosa - Ohio St

There are five FWAA second-teamer All-Americas from a year ago on the 2015 Watch List: Michigan State end Shilique Calhoun, and defensive backs Kendall Fuller of Virginia Tech, Jeremy Cash of Duke, Jalen Ramsey of Florida State and Michael Caputo of Wisconsin.

Frank Coyle is a long time scout with nationwide ties with coaches, scouts and player agents. He is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Bronko Nagurski, Lombardi, Jim Thorpe etc for the past 20 years.

Players may be added or removed from the watch list during the course of the season. Once again, the FWAA will announce a Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week each Tuesday from early September through mid November. If not already on the watch list, the honored player will be added at that time. The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists for the 2015 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Nov. 19.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner will be chosen from those five finalists who are part of the 2014 FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the association's entire membership, selects the 26-man All-America Team and eventually the Nagurski finalists. Committee members, then by individual ballot, select the winner, the best defensive player in college football during the FWAA's 75th anniversary year.

The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet, presented by ACN, will be held on Dec. 7 at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte. In addition to the 2015 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner's announcement, the banquet will also celebrate the recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award. Ohio State's Randy Gradishar, a member of the FWAA's 1973 All-America team and a College Football Hall of Famer, will be honored. Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn will be the keynote speaker at the banquet.

The FWAA has named a National Defensive Player of the Year since 1993. In 1995, the FWAA named the award in honor of the legendary two-way player from the University of Minnesota. Nagurski dominated college football then became a star for professional football's Chicago Bears in the 1930s. Bronislaw "Bronko" Nagurski is a charter member of both the College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame.

2015 BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY PRESEASON WATCH LIST
88 Players

LB Dominique Alexander, Oklahoma
DE Jonathan Allen, Alabama
DB Budda Baker, Washington
DB Dante Barnett, Kansas State
DE Derek Barnett, Tennessee
LB Kendell Beckwith, LSU
DB Vonn Bell, Ohio State
LB Vince Biegel, Wisconsin
DT Andrew Billings, Baylor
DB Quin Blanding, Virginia
DB Briean Boddy-Calhoun, Minnesota
DE Joey Bosa, Ohio State
LB Kentrell Brothers, Missouri
DE DeForest Buckner, Oregon
LB James Burgess, Louisville
DE Shilique Calhoun, Michigan State
DB Maurice Canady, Virginia
DB Michael Caputo, Wisconsin
DB Jeremy Cash, Duke
DT Kenny Clark, UCLA
DT Maliek Collins, Nebraska
DB Tony Conner, Ole Miss
DE Kamalei Correa, Boise State
LB Su’a Cravens, USC
DT Sheldon Day, Notre Dame
DE Ken Ekanem, Virginia Tech
LB Kyler Fackrell, Utah State
LB Leonard Floyd, Georgia
DB Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech
DE Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
DT Adam Gotsis, Georgia Tech
DB Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida
LB Myles Jack, UCLA
DB William Jackson, Houston
DB Adoree’ Jackson, USC
DE Jordan Jenkins, Georgia
DT Gerrand Johnson, ULM
DB Jonathan Jones, Auburn
DT Chris Jones, Mississippi State
DB Karl Joseph, West Virginia
DE Bronson Kaufusi, BYU
DE Carl Lawson Auburn
LB Darron Lee, Ohio State
DB William Likely, Maryland
DB Jordan Lucas, Penn State
DT Luther Maddy, Virginia Tech
LB Curt Maggitt, Tennessee
DT Corey Marshall, Virginia Tech
LB Blake Martinez, Stanford
LB Tyler Matakevich, Temple
DB Danzel McDaniel, Kansas State
DB Adrian McDonald, Houston
LB Cassanova McKinzy, Auburn
DB Jalen Mills, LSU
DB Fabian Moreau, UCLA
LB Antonio Morrison, Florida
DB Eric Murray, Minnesota

For the Rest of the Bronko Nagurski Watch List - go to next page

Draft Insiders’ 2014 All-American Team - QB Marcus Mariota and DE Shane Ray Earn Player of the Year Honors

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Draft Insiders’ 2014 All-American Team
By Frank Coyle

Draft Insiders’ Digest All-America Team
Draft Insiders.com has produced an All-American team for over 20 years. Here is this year’s version of the most outstanding players from the 2014 college season.

Players of the Year
Offense - QB Marcus Mariota - Oregon
Defense - DE Shane Ray - Missouri

Photo - DE Shane Ray - Missouri

First Team Offense
QB Marcus Mariota - Oregon
RB Melvin Gordon - Wisconsin
RB Tevin Coleman - Indiana
WR Amari Cooper - Alabama
WR Kevin White - West Virginia
TE Nick O'Leary - Florida State
OL Brandon Scherff - Iowa
OL Tre' Jackson - Florida State
OL Cedric Ogbuehi - Texas A&M
OL A.J. Cann - South Carolina
C Reese Dismukes - Auburn
PK Roberto Aguayo - Florida State
PR Tyler Lockett - Kansas State

First Team Defense
DL Nate Orchard - Utah
DL Shane Ray - Missouri
DL Joey Bosa - Ohio State
DL Malcolm Brown - Texas
LB Vic Beasley - Clemson
LB Scooby Wright III - Arizona
LB Shaq Thompson - Washington
LB Paul Dawson - TCU
DB Gerod Holliman - Louisville
DB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu - Oregon
DB Senquez Golson - Ole Miss
DB Landon Collins - Alabama
P Tom Hackett - Utah
KR Jamarcus Nelson - UAB

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe etc for the past 20 years. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year round basis related to College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals sports publications and web sites.

Arizona's Wright Wins 2014 Bronko Nagurski Trophy

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Arizona's Phillip 'Scooby' Wright Wins 2014 Bronko Nagurski Trophy
Linebacker is just second sophomore to win the award

(FWAA) – Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright III claimed the Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Monday night, winning the Football Writers Association of America's annual award for the top defensive player in the country.

Wright, a 6-1, 246-pound sophomore, accepted the award at the event that has been sponsored by the Charlotte Touchdown Club for 20 consecutive years. He becomes the second Arizona player to win the award after the inaugural winner Rob Waldrop in 1993 and the first Pac-12 player to claim it since Terrell Suggs of Arizona State in 2002. Wright is just the second sophomore to win the award, joining Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis, the 2006 winner.

Wright has gone from a player recruited by only a few schools – a two-star recruit on the West Coast – to a tackling machine at Arizona (10-3), ranked 10th in the final College Football Playoff rankings.
"I say thank you all to my teammates and coaches," Wright said. "Football is a team game. I accept this on behalf of the Arizona football program."

The modest Wright, whose real name is Phillip, was also recruited by Boise State, California, Washington and USC, but never was offered a scholarship by any of those schools. Only Arizona did.

"I am just excited for Scooby," Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez said. "Mainly because he epitomizes what are program is about. He has a chip on his shoulder. He loves the game and is a good teammate."

The four other Nagurski finalists in attendance were Texas defensive tackle Malcom Brown, Alabama safety Landon Collins, Ole Miss cornerback Senquez Golson and Louisville safety Gerod Holliman. Alabama head coach Nick Saban gave the evening's keynote address.

Lineman Randy White, accepted the the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award, presented by Florida East Coast Railway. Each year, the FWAA honors a past winner from one its All-America teams. White, a defensive star at Maryland before becoming an All-Pro for the Dallas Cowboys, was a member of the 1974 FWAA All-America Team.

The 2014 Nagurski winner, Wright, ranks in the top five among FBS players for total tackles (153), tackles for loss (28.0), sacks (14.0) and forced fumbles (six). He's the only FBS player to rank in the top 25 of each of those categories this season.

"One of the reasons his numbers are so high for tackles, assists or turnovers is because of his effort," Rodriguez said. "He strains until the nth degree. You want everybody to do that. But it comes to Scooby naturally. He plays with a sense of urgency on every snap."

Wright is trying to become the first player since 1999 to be ranked in the top five for tackles, tackles for loss and sacks at the end of a season. When current Arizona coach Rodriguez was offensive coordinator at Clemson in 1999, linebacker Keith Adams achieved the feat for the Tigers, according to research provided by STATS. Adams finished second in total tackles (186), first in tackles for loss (35.0), and tied for third in sacks (16.0).

Wright, who hails from Windsor, Calif., anchored an Arizona defense that helped capture the school's first Pac-12 South Division title. For the Wildcats, who are headed to the VIZIO Fiesta Bowl to play Boise State and have posted 10 victories in a season for the first time since 1998, Wright led the Pac-12 in five defensive statistical categories: Total tackles (153), tackles per game (11.77), tackles for loss (28), tackles for loss per game (2.15) and forced fumbles (6).

The FWAA's national defensive player of the year award, given out since 1993, is named after the legendary Bronko Nagurski, who dominated college football at Minnesota as a bruising fullback and defensive tackle from 1927 through 1929. He could have been an All-American at any position and was the best player wherever the coaches put him.

Nagurski led Minnesota to the Big Ten title in 1927 and a three-year record of 18-4-2. He went on to lead the fabled Chicago Bears to three NFL titles. During one game at Wrigley Field, he once broke a defensive player's shoulder, knocked another out and ran into a brick wall and actually cracked it during a game-winning touchdown run.

The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,400 men and women who cover college football. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include gameday operations, major awards and its annual All-America team.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Assocation. The NCFAA encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 21 awards boast 699 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about our story.

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe etc for the past 20 years. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year round basis related to College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals sports publications and web sites.

Eight Coaches Selected Finalists For Eddie Robinson Award

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Eight Coaches Selected Finalists For Eddie Robinson Award
* Winner to be announced on Dec. 15

The Football Writers Association of America, in conjunction with the Allstate Sugar Bowl, has announced eight finalists for the 2014 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award, whose winner will be revealed on Mon., Dec. 15.

In alphabetical order, the finalists are: Baylor's Art Briles, Florida State's Jimbo Fisher, Memphis' Justin Fuente, Boise State's Bryan Harsin, Oregon's Mark Helfrich, Ohio State's Urban Meyer, TCU's Gary Patterson and Alabama's Nick Saban.

Frank Coyle is a voter in the Eddie Robinson award and cast his ballot for Oregon's Mark Helfrich.

The finalists were placed on a ballot sent out to the entire FWAA membership today. Ballots will be accepted from the membership through 5 p.m. CT on Friday. FWAA members were asked to vote for their top choices in the order they believe the coaches are deserving of the award.

The official presentation reception will be Jan. 10, 2015, in Dallas, where the winning coach will be handed the FWAA/Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year bust during a reception at the media hotel in conjunction with the College Football Playoff National Championship Game.

The FWAA has presented a coaching award since the 1957 season when Ohio State's Woody Hayes was named the first recipient.

The FWAA's national coach of the year award is named after the late Robinson, a coaching legend at Grambling State University for 55 seasons. He has more Division I victories (408) than any other coach in the history of college football.

Robinson, who passed away in 2007, won 70.7 percent of his games during his illustrious career. Robinson's teams won or tied for 17 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) championships after joining the league in 1959. His Tigers claimed nine black college football championships during his career, all spent at the same school.

The 2014 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year finalists:
Art Briles, Baylor:
The Bears' share of the Big 12 Conference title with TCU means Baylor (11-1) has a least a piece of the league crown for a second straight season. The Bears handed TCU its only loss, 61-58, in Waco and will face Michigan State in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic. Briles was an Eddie Robinson Award finalist last season.

Jimbo Fisher, Florida State: The Seminoles (13-0) claimed the national championship in 2013, and are on a 29-game winning streak. Florida State is one of the four teams selected for the College Football Playoff, with a chance to win back-to-back national titles. Fisher was an Eddie Robinson Award finalist last season, but no Florida State coach has won the FWAA's coach of the year honor.

Justin Fuente, Memphis: The Tigers (9-3) claimed a share of the American Athletic Conference title. Their nine victories are the most by the Tigers since 1963, and the conference championship is the first for Memphis since winning the Missouri Valley in 1971. Fuente, a former Oklahoma quarterback, is in his third season at Memphis.

Bryan Harsin, Boise State: The Broncos rose to the top of the Group of Five in Harsin's first season at Boise State, after he spent one season as the head coach at Arkansas State. Boise State (11-2), as the Mountain West Conference champion, will play in the VIZIO Fiesta Bowl against Arizona.

Mark Helfrich, Oregon: In his second season as the Oregon head coach, Helfrich is attempting to get the Ducks (12-1) back in the national title game as his predecessor Chip Kelly did in 2010 when he won the Eddie Robinson Award. Oregon won the Pac-12 title game to earn a spot in the College Football Playoff semifinals against Florida State in the Rose Bowl Game.

Urban Meyer, Ohio State: The Buckeyes (12-1) battled past a shocking early home loss to Virginia Tech, quarterback injuries and tragedy. They won the Big Ten Conference title, thumping Wisconsin, 59-0 in the championshhip game, with their third starting quarterback of the season. Meyer, like Patterson, has won the Eddie Robinson Award before, in 2004 at Utah.

Gary Patterson, TCU: The Horned Frogs were 4-8 a year ago in only their second season in the Big 12 Conference, but Patterson revamped his offense and TCU (11-1) gained a share of the school's first Big 12 title. Patterson is also a former Eddie Robinson Award winner, in 2009 when the Horned Frogs were in the Mountain West Conference.

Nick Saban, Alabama: The Crimson Tide (12-1) will be going for their fourth national title in six years under Saban, who already added a third SEC title at Alabama this past weekend. Saban has won the Eddie Robinson Award twice before (2003 at LSU and 2008 at Alabama). The Crimson Tide meets Ohio State in the Allstate Sugar Bowl in a College Football Playoff semifinal.

The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,400 men and women who cover college football. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include gameday operations, major awards and its annual All-America team.

The Allstate Sugar Bowl has established itself as one of the premier college football bowl games, having hosted 23 national champions, 86 Hall of Fame players, 46 Hall of Fame coaches and 15 Heisman Trophy winners in its 80-year history. The 81st Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic on January 1, 2015, will be an integral part of a new era in college football as it will be one of the first playoff semifinal games in the College Football Playoff which begins with the 2014 season. In addition to football, the Sugar Bowl Committee is involved with various community initiatives through hosting and sponsorships of sporting events, awards and clinics.

The Eddie Robinson Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 21 awards boast nearly 700 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about our story.

College 2014 Award Finalist Lists

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Marcus Mariota, Amari Cooper & Melvin Gordon Top Award Lists

Finalists for 10 major college football awards have been announced, with favorites like Marcus Mariota (Davey O'Brien), Amari Cooper (Biletnikoff), Melvin Gordon (Doak Walker), Brandon Scherff, (Outland)
and Roberto Aguayo (Groza) all among those nominated.

Photo: RB Melvin Gordon - Wisconsin

Finalists for the Major Awards
* winners of which will be announced Dec. 11

Maxwell Award (College Player of the Year)
Marcus Mariota, Oregon (Jr.)
Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin (Jr.)
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State (Jr.)

Chuck Bednarik Award (Defensive Player of the Year)
Joey Bosa, Ohio State (Soph.)
Vic Beasley, Clemson (Sr.)
Scooby Wright III, Arizona (Soph.)

Doak Walker Award (Running back)
Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin (Jr.)
Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska (Sr.)
Tevin Coleman, Indiana (Jr.)

Mackey Award (Tight end)
Nick O'Leary, Florida State (Sr.)
Maxx Williams, Minnesota (So.)
Clive Walford, Miami (Sr.)

Biletnikoff Award (Wide Receiver)
Amari Cooper, Alabama (Jr.)
Kevin White, West Virginia (Sr.)
Rashard Higgins, Colorado State (Soph.)

Davey O'Brien Award (Quarterback)
Marcus Mariota, Oregon (Jr.)
Trevone Boykin, TCU (Jr.)
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State (Jr.)

Outland Trophy (Interior lineman)
Reese Dismukes, Auburn (Sr.)
Brandon Scherff, Iowa (Sr.)
Malcom Brown, Texas (Jr.)

Bronko Nagurski Trophy Finalists
DT Malcom Brown - Texas
S Landon Collins - Alabama
CB Senquez Golson - Ole Miss
S Gerod Holliman - Louisville
LB Scooby Wright - Arizona

Lombardi Award Finalists
DE Vic Beasley - Clemson
DE Joey Bosa - Ohio St
DE/LB Hau’oli Kikaha - Washington
LB Scooby Wright III - Arizona.

Paul Hornung Award Finalists
Nebraska - RB and return specialist Ameer Abdullah
TCU - RB and kick return specialist B.J. Catalon
Stanford - WR and return specialist Ty Montgomery
Missouri - RB and punt/kickoff return specialist Marcus Murphy
Washington - LB / running back Shaq Thompson

Butkus Award Finalists
Eric Kendricks - California
Hau'oli Kikaha - Washington
Denzel Perryman - Miami (Fla.)
Jake Ryan - Michigan
Jaylon Smith - Notre Dame

Thorpe Award (Defensive back)
S Landon Collins - Alabama (Jr.)
CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu - Oregon (Sr.)
S Gerod Holliman - Louisville (So.)

Lou Groza Award (Placekicker)
Roberto Aguayo, Florida State (Soph.)
Brad Craddock, Maryland (Jr.)
Josh Lambert, West Virginia (Soph.)

Ray Guy Award (Punter)
Tom Hackett, Utah (Jr.)
Austin Rekhow, Idaho (Soph.)
J.K. Scott, Alabama (Fr.)

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Thorpe etc for the past 18 years. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He has been a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game among other postseason events. He is a players agent consultant related to pro prospect training programs for the upcoming NFL Draft.

Butkus Award 2014 Finalists Announced

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BUTKUS AWARD 30th SEASON COLLEGE AND HIGH SCHOOL FINALISTS ANNOUNCED

Finalists for the 30th annual Butkus Award honoring the nation’s best linebackers at the collegiate and high school levels were announced by the Butkus Foundation.

The five collegiate finalists include 2013 collegiate semifinalist Denzel Perryman of Miami and 2012 high school Butkus winner Jaylon Smith of Notre Dame.

Butkus Award 2014 Collegiate Finalists
Eric Kendricks University of California Los Angeles
Hau'oli Kikaha University of Washington
Denzel Perryman University of Miami (Fla.)
Jake Ryan University of Michigan
Jaylon Smith University of Notre Dame

Dick Butkus - Hall of Fame Chicago Bear linebacker and founder of Butkus Football Network "Frank Coyle does an excellent job year round rating the top college players as they prepare for the NFL. Draft Insiders' Digest is a must for anyone that follows the NFL Draft and pro prospects. His evaluation is the best scouting insight I have ever seen."

Butkus Award 2014 High School Finalists
Jerome Baker Benedictine High School Cleveland, OH
Justin Hilliard St. Xavier High School Cincinnati, OH
John Houston Junipero Serra High School Gardena, CA
Malik Jefferson Ralph H. Poteet High School Mesquite, TX
Leo Lewis Brookhaven High School Brookhaven, MS

Winners will be named by December 9 by the independent panel of 51 recruiters, scouts, coaches and journalists. A professional Butkus Award honoree will be named in early 2015. Selectors and selection criteria are posted at www.thebutkusaward.com

2013 Butkus Award winners:
• Professional: NaVorro Bowman, San Francisco 49ers
• Collegiate: C.J. Mosley, Alabama (now Baltimore Ravens)
• High School: Raekwon McMillan, Liberty County, Ga. (now Ohio State)

Created in 1985, the Butkus Award was expanded in 2008 to honor linebackers at three levels while spreading the word about Butkus’ I Play Clean™ initiative which encourages teens to eat well, train hard, and play with attitude instead of using performance-enhancing drugs. The I Play Clean initiative is supported in part by the NFL and NFL Players Association Research and Education Foundation. More information is available at www.iplayclean.org and on facebook at i.play.clean.

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe etc for the past 20 years. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year round basis related to College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals sports publications and web sites.

2014 Maxwell and Bednarik Award Finalists Announced

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2014 Maxwell and Bednarik Award Finalists Announced

Maxwell Football Club President, Ron Jaworski, announced the 2014 finalists for the 78th Maxwell Award for the Collegiate Player of the Year and the 20th Chuck Bednarik Award for the Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year.

Photo - RB Melvin Gordon - Wisconsin

The respective lists include a field of three candidates for each of these awards as determined by the semifinalist voting process which ended Nov. 23.

All finalists are listed in alphabetical order with the player's school, position and class designated.

2014 Maxwell Award Finalists
Melvin Gordon Wisconsin Running Back Junior
Marcus Mariota Oregon Quarterback Junior
Dak Prescott Mississippi State Quarterback Junior

2014 Chuck Bednarik Award Finalists
Vic Beasley Clemson Defensive End Senior
Joey Bosa Ohio State Defensive End Sophomore
Scooby Wright III Arizona Linebacker Sophomore

Melvin Gordon -Wisconsin
Already well past the 2,000-yard rushing barrier, Gordon can realistically set his sights on Barry Sanders' NCAA record of 2,628 yards in a season. Gordon's season totals are impressive: 254 carries, 2,109 yards, 25 TDs; 15 receptions, 147 yards, and two TDs for the 9-2 Badgers. Gordon's signature game came against Nebraska, when he broke the NCAA single-game rushing record with 408 yards on 25 carries, 16.3 yards per carry, and four touchdowns.

Marcus Mariota -Oregon
Mariota went 24-of-32 for 323 passing yards with three touchdowns, and added 73 yards and another score on the ground in a 44-10 rout of Colorado last weekend. With his four total scores, Mariota set a Pac-12 single-season record with 42 total touchdowns. He has four or more scores in eight games this fall, the most of any player in the FBS. Moreover, Mariota leads the nation in passing efficiency (185.2) and is tied at No. 1, with Colorado State's Garrett Grayson, with an average of 10.0 yards per attempt. Mariota's two interceptions are the fewest among the country's top-10 quarterbacks in completion percentage. For the season, he is 210-of-309 passing, 3,103 yards, 32 touchdowns, two interceptions; 97 carries, 597 yards, nine touchdowns for the 10-1 Ducks.

Dak Prescott - Mississippi State
Prescott has led Mississippi State to its first 10-win regular season and its highest ranking (No. 1, currently No. 4) in the 115-year history of the program. He has led MSU to a 5-1 record in the SEC inside the only division in college football history to have every team be bowl eligible, and is the only FBS player to rank in the top 20 in both passing touchdowns and rushing touchdowns. Saturday night, Prescott accounted for four total touchdowns in a 51-0 shutout of Vanderbilt, which was MSU's biggest conference win since 1936. This Saturday, he travels to No. 19 Ole Miss for the annual Egg Bowl rivalry game.

Beasley has been a fixture on the Clemson defense for the last four years. A graduate student who would have likely been a high-round NFL pick last spring decided to return to Clemson for one last year. Beasley, a defensive end, leads the Tigers with eight sacks and 14.5 tackles for losses. Not only is Beasley now the all-time leader in sacks at Clemson, he is first among current FBS-level players in career sacks and tackles for a loss.

The 6-5, 278-pound Bosa is currently the Big Ten Conference leader in sacks (11.5), tackles-for-loss (17.0) and forced fumbles (three). He is among the national leaders in all three categories as well, currently sitting at No. 5 nationally in quarterback sacks, No. 7 nationally in TFLs and No. 19 in forced fumbles. Bosa's three forced fumbles have directly or indirectly led to 23 Ohio State points this season.

Wright is the only FBS player to rank in the top-25 individually for each of these four categories (based on per game): tackles (117), tackles for loss (21.0), sacks (12.0) and forced fumbles (5). Wright has at least one tackle for loss in all 10 games this season and has had a sack in eight of the 10 contests. In Arizona's 27-26 win over Washington on Saturday, Wright recorded 11 tackles and 1.5 tackles for a loss of five yards. Through 10 games, he totals 117 tackles, 21.0 tackles for 78 yards lost, 12.0 sacks for 61 yards lost, five forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

Last season, the Maxwell Award went to Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron and the Chuck Bednarik Award was presented to Pitt defensive tackle Aaron Donald. McCarron currently plays for the Cincinnati Bengals, and Donald is a standout lineman for the St. Louis Rams.

The winners of the 78th Maxwell Award and the 20th Chuck Bednarik Award will be announced as part of the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show on December 11, 2014. The formal presentation of these awards will be made at the Maxwell Football Club's Awards Gala which will be held at the Tropicana Casino Resort in Atlantic City, NJ on Friday March 13, 2015.

The presentation of the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be featured on The Home Depot College Football Awards live on Thursday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. The show, hosted by ESPN's Rece Davis, joined by Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard, Tom Rinaldi and Samantha Ponder - will originate from the Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney's Boardwalk at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., and will feature the live presentation of nine player awards, along with the recipients of Disney's Spirit Award; The Home Depot Coach of the Year Award, the NCFAA (National College Football Awards Association) Contributions to College Football Award; and student-athletes selected to the Walter Camp All-America Team.

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe etc for the past 20 years. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year round basis related to College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals sports publications and web sites.

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