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.
Kaaya received the preseason honor after he authored one of the finest first-year campaign’s in school history, while guiding the Hurricanes to their second-consecutive bowl appearance.
During his rookie campaign, Kaaya was the only true freshman quarterback in the country to throw for over 3,000 yards, 26-or-more touchdowns and 12-or-fewer interceptions.
In addition, Kaaya rewrote the Hurricanes’ freshman record book as he set the single season freshman standard for passing yards and touchdowns. He finished the year with 3,198 passing yards and 26 touchdown passes. His 26 touchdown passes from a year ago tied him with Heisman Trophy winning signal-caller Vinny Testaverde for third all-time.
This is the third preseason honor Kaaya has received this summer. In the month of June, he was named to both the Phil Steele and Athlon Sports Preseason All-Conference Team.
Kaaya is one of 20 sophomores that were named to the Maxwell Watch List and was one of just eight sophomore quarterbacks that were recognized nationally.