GAINESVILLE -- It is time.
We’ve officially reached the tipping point of the summer, where half (not exactly a scientific approximation) the players in college football are named to random preseason watch lists.
These lists are absurd, only relevant due to the fact there’s minimal college football content in early July.
But alas, we must note even what isn’t particularly noteworthy.
Florida’s top two standouts -- defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. and cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III -- were named to the 2014 Bednarik Award watch list Monday, honoring the nation’s best defensive player.
Fowler Jr., a rising junior who led the Gators in tackles for loss (10.5) last season, and Hargreaves III, one of the country’s top defensive backs as just a freshman, join 74 other players on the list.
Both defensive studs were also named to the Nagurski watch list, another award given to the nation's best defensive player (Football Writers Association of America).
Meanwhile, UF quarterback Jeff Driskel was tabbed to the Maxwell Award watch list for the nation’s best offensive player. Nearly every notable quarterback, tailback and receiver from the power conferences were named.
Fifth-year senior Max Garcia, a 12-game starter for the Gators in 2013, was named to the 2014 Rimington Trophy watch list -- this despite never starting a single career game at center. Last season, Garcia mainly played left guard and left tackle but is transitioning to center following the graduation of Jon Harrison.
In a bit of a suprise, Virginia transfer tight end Jake McGee was not named to the Mackey Award watch list. McGee led all Cavaliers in receptions (43) and yards (395) in 2013 and is considered an ideal fit (and upgrade) for offensive coordinator Kurt Roper's spread system.
D.J. Humphries, Florida's left tackle who endured an injury-riddled 2013, was named to the preseason watch list for the 2014 Outland Trophy, an award given to the nation's best (offensive or defensive) lineman. Humphries is a former five-star prospect who hopes this season is his breakout campaign.
MON., JULY 7
Bednarik Award -- DE/LB Dante Fowler Jr., CB Vernon Hargreaves III
Maxwell Award -- QB Jeff Driskel
TUES., JULY 8
Mackey Award -- ______
Rimgington Trophy -- C Max Garcia
WED., JULY 9
Lou Groza Award -- ____
Ray Guy Award -- _____
THURS., JULY 10
Bronko Nagurski Trophy -- DE/LB Dante Fowler Jr., CB Vernon Hargreaves III
Outland Trophy -- OT D.J. Humphries
FRI., JULY 11
Jim Thorpe Award -- CB Vernon Hargreaves III
*** This post will be updated daily, as the NCAA will release watch lists for the next two weeks.
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