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Malik Cunningham named to Maxwell Award Watch List

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Syndication: The Courier-Journal Sam Upshaw Jr./Courier Journal via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Watch list season has arrived, folks.

From U of L:

University of Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham was named to the watch list for the 85th Maxwell Award presented annually to the outstanding player in college football. The award is proudly sponsored by Mammoth Tech and The Athletes’ Corner, which are Executive Partners of the Maxwell Football Club.

Cunningham, who enters his third season as the starter, is coming off a productive 2020 season. The product of Montgomery, Ala., threw for a career best 2,615 yards and 20 touchdowns, while rushing for 609 yards and seven scores.

The redshirt junior averaged 293.1 yards of total offense, which ranked fourth in the Atlantic Coast Conference and 20th nationally. Cunningham rushed for 197 yards in a loss to Virginia and added 133 yards on the ground at Boston College. The 6-foot-2 signal caller threw for a career best 350 yards at home against Virginia Tech.

The Maxwell Award has been presented to the College Player of the Year since 1937 and is named in honor of Robert “Tiny” Maxwell who was a former standout at the Swarthmore College and a renowned sportswriter and football official.

The Maxwell Award watch list will once again incorporate a broad spectrum of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) programs and conferences from coast to coast, and will feature fresh faces, as 2020 winner DeVonta Smith (Alabama) and finalists Trevor Lawrence (Clemson) and Mac Jones (Alabama) have all moved on to the NFL.

The list features six returning semifinalists from 2020 including Desmond Ridder (Cincinnati), Grayson McCall (Coastal Carolina), Breece Hall (Iowa State), D’Eriq King (Miami), Sam Howell (North Carolina), and Dillon Gabriel (UCF). The full list consists of 80 players, with 14 schools having two players represented.

The Maxwell Football Club has once again partnered with Pro Football Focus (PFF), XOS ThunderCloud and Phil Steele Publications as selection committee partners. PFF provides detailed metrics and performance-based assessments to selection committee staff, and several senior PFF analysts are members of our selection committee. Phil Steele’s College Football Preview is generally recognized as the most complete preseason magazine. XOS ThunderCloud provides the Maxwell Club selection committee with access to game footage from all FBS colleges.

Semifinalists for the Maxwell Award will be announced November 1, 2021, while the three finalists for the Maxwell Award will be unveiled November 22, 2021. The winner of the 2021 Maxwell will be announced as part of the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on December 9, 2021. The formal presentations of the Maxwell Award will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Tropicana Hotel & Casino Atlantic City on March 11, 2022.

2021 MAXWELL AWARD WATCH LIST

RB Brian Robinson, Alabama

WR John Metchie, Alabama

RB Camerun Peoples, Appalachian State

QB Jayden Daniels, Arizona State

WR Treylon Burks, Arkansas

QB Layne Hatcher, Arkansas State

QB Bo Nix, Auburn

RB Tank Bigsby, Auburn

WR Khalil Shakir, Boise State

QB Phil Jurkovec, Boston College

WR Zay Flowers, Boston College

RB Kevin Marks, Buffalo

RB Tyler Allgeier, BYU

QB Chris Reynolds, Charlotte

QB Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati

QB D.J. Uiagalelei, Clemson

WR Justyn Ross, Clemson

QB Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina

RB Mataeo Durant, Duke

QB Preston Hutchinson, Eastern Michigan

QB McKenzie Milton, Florida State

RB Ronnie Rivers, Fresno State

QB JT Daniels, Georgia

QB Michael Penix, Indiana

WR Ty Fryfogle, Indiana

RB Tyler Goodson, Iowa

QB Brock Purdy, Iowa State

RB Breece Hall, Iowa State

QB Skylar Thompson, Kansas State

RB Deuce Vaughn, Kansas State

QB Dustin Crum, Kent State

RB Chris Rodriguez, Kentucky

QB Malik Willis, Liberty

QB Levi Lewis, Louisiana

QB Malik Cunningham, Louisville

WR Kayshon Boutte, LSU

QB Grant Wells, Marshall

QB Taulia Tagovailoa, Maryland

WR Calvin Austin, Memphis

QB D’Eriq King, Miami

QB Tanner Morgan, Minnesota

RB Mohamed Ibrahim, Minnesota

RB Zonovan Knight, NC State

QB Adrian Martinez, Nebraska

QB Carson Strong, Nevada

WR Romeo Doubs, Nevada

QB Sam Howell, North Carolina

RB Kyren Williams, Notre Dame

WR Chris Olave, Ohio State

WR Garrett Wilson, Ohio State

QB Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma

WR Marvin Mims, Oklahoma

QB Matt Corral, Ole Miss

RB Jerrion Ealy, Ole Miss

WR Jahan Dotson, Penn State

QB Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh

WR David Bell, Purdue

RB Greg Bell, San Diego State

QB Nick Starkel, San Jose State

RB Ulysses Bentley, SMU

WR Reggie Roberson, SMU

WR Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama

RB Kevin Harris, South Carolina

RB Frank Gore, Southern Miss

RB Austin Jones, Stanford

QB Max Duggan, TCU

RB Bijan Robinson, Texas

RB Isaiah Spiller, Texas A&M

WR Erik Ezukanma, Texas Tech

QB Dillon Gabriel, UCF

QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA

QB Kedon Slovis, USC

QB Charlie Brewer, Utah

RB Sincere McCormick, UTSA

QB Brennan Armstrong, Virginia

WR Jaquarii Roberson, Wake Forest

QB Jarret Doege, West Virginia

RB Leddie Brown, West Virginia

QB Kaleb Eleby, Western Michigan

RB Xazavian Valladay, Wyoming