July 5, 2016
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Maxwell Football Club today announced its watch lists for the 80th annual Maxwell Award and the 22nd annual Chuck Bednarik Award. Buckeyes are on each watch list:
~ Junior quarterback J.T. Barrett is on the Maxwell Award watch list. The award honors college football’s player of the year; and
~ Junior defensive end Tyquan Lewis and junior middle linebacker Raekwon McMillan are each on the Bednarik Award watch list which honors the defensive player of the year.
Barrett, from Wichita Falls, Texas, and Rider High School, was fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting as a freshman in 2014 and 4-1 as a starter last season with season-capping wins over Michigan, 42-13, and Notre Dame, 44-28 in the BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl. He enters his junior campaign with the Buckeyes needing just 13 touchdown passes for the Ohio State career mark, currently at 57 by Bobby Hoying. His 77 touchdowns responsible for are just 11 fewer than Braxton Miller’s school record of 88. Barrett also enters the season with a career passing efficiency rating of 160.06; the Big Ten record is held by Troy Smith at 157.1. Barrett is three completions shy of qualifying for the record.
Lewis, a 6-4, 260-pound end from Tarboro (N.C.) High School, led the Ohio State defense in quarterback sacks last year with 8.0, a defense that featured two-time consensus All-American Joey Bosa and five other NFL Draft selections. Lewis is a 28-game veteran, a 13-game starter and enters 2016 with 16.5 career tackles-for-loss and 8.5 quarterback sacks.
McMillan was a Butkus Award finalist last season as a true sophomore and a first-team all-Big Ten Conference linebacker. The 6-2, 240-pounder from Hinesville, Ga., and Liberty County High School led the Buckeyes in tackles with 119, a total/average that ranked fourth in the conference. He enters his junior campaign with 168 career tackles, 10 tackles-for-loss, four quarterback sacks, one interception, five pass break-ups and a fumble recovery.
The Maxwell Award, named in honor of Robert W. “Tiny” Maxwell, has been given to America’s 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.
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 NFL Hall of Fame’s Class of ’67.