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July 7, 2015

The four Buckeyes on the Maxwell Award watch list are the most of any school in the country.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Four Buckeyes have been named to the 79th annual Maxwell Award watch list, which was announced Tuesday by the Maxwell Football Club. The four Buckeyes are junior RB Ezekiel Elliott, red-shirt sophomore QB J.T. Barrett, red-shirt junior QB Cardale Jones and fifth-year senior QB Braxton Miller. The four Buckeyes represent the most of any school on the preseason list.

The Maxwell Award, named in honor of Robert W. “Tiny” Maxwell, is awarded each year to America’s College Player of the Year and has been since 1937.

Elliott is the nation’s leading returning rusher (in terms of yards gained), coming off an 1,878-yard rushing season – the second-highest single-season total in school history – with 18 touchdowns. Elliott burst onto the national scene during Ohio State’s three-game post-season run, helping the Buckeyes win college football’s first College Football Playoff national championship, including earning offensive MVP honors in both the Sugar Bowl and national championship. During Ohio State’s post-season run, he rushed for 696 yards and eight touchdowns in the three games. First, he rushed for a Big Ten championship game record 220 yards and scored two touchdowns, including a championship game record 81-yard rush, in Ohio State’s 59-0 win over Wisconsin. He then bested that effort against No. 1 Alabama, rushing for 230 yards and two touchdowns, including a Sugar Bowl and Ohio State bowl game-record 85-yard rush to cap the scoring. Then in the national championship game, he led an offensive charge with an Ohio State bowl game-record 246 rushing yards and four touchdowns.

Barrett was named the Big Ten quarterback and freshman of the year in 2014 after going 11-1 as a starter while setting 19 school and Big Ten records. He is coming off an injured ankle that occurred in the regular season finale vs. Michigan. Before the injury, Barrett set a school-record with 3,772 total yards, including 2,834 passing yards and 938 rushing yards. He set a Big Ten record with 45 total touchdowns and finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting. Among other notable records, Barrett tied a school record with six touchdown passes vs. Kent State and had the second-most offensive yards in school history (409) vs. Cincinnati, including a personal best 330 yards passing. In the biggest regular-season win of the year, Barrett threw for 300 yards, rushed for 86 and accounted for five touchdowns in the road win at Michigan State and the Spartans’ No. 5-ranked total defense. Barrett finished the season second nationally to Marcus Mariota in passing efficiency (169.8 rating) and was 10th nationally in total offense (314.3 yards per game) while leading the Big Ten in both categories.

Jones, in his first three career starts last season, led the Buckeyes to a Big Ten championship win over No. 13 Wisconsin, a Sugar Bowl win over No. 1-ranked Alabama in the College Football Playoff semifinals and a CFB Playoff national championship game win over No. 2 Oregon. In those three games, Jones threw for 742 yards and five touchdowns and rushed for 90 yards and a score while becoming the first Ohio State quarterback to win three post-season games. Jones became Ohio State’s starting QB after Barrett injured his ankle against Michigan. A week later in his first collegiate start, he completed 12 of 17 passes for 257 yards and three touchdowns while winning game MVP honors in Ohio State’s 59-0 win over No. 13 Wisconsin Big Ten championship game. Four weeks later he was equally impressive against No. 1 Alabama and its 11th-ranked defense, throwing for 243 yards and a TD while rushing for 43 yards in the 42-35 victory. Then against Oregon in the national championship, Jones completed nearly 70 percent of his passes (16 of 23) for 242 yards and one touchdown. Jones was recently nominated for an ESPY award in the “breakout” player category for his efforts.

Miller red-shirted the 2014 season after re-injuring his throwing shoulder in August 2014. But when healthy Miller can be a contender and possibly even a leading contender for all of the major national awards. Miller, who is a two-time winner of the Big Ten offensive and quarterback of the year awards in 2012 and 2013, already has won more Big Ten Conference awards (7) than any player in Big Ten history, including two Chicago Tribune Big Ten MVP awards. For his career, Miller has passed for 5,292 yards with 52 touchdowns while rushing for 3,054 yards and 32 scores. He enters the 2015 season as the holder of seven school records and is second on Ohio State’s all-time total offense list with 8,346 yards, needing just over 500 yards to break Art Schlichter’s record of 8,850.

The Maxwell Football Club is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 22 awards boast over 700 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit www.NCFAA.org to learn more.