A trio of Ohio State stars were recognized on Monday when three Buckeye stars were each named to watch lists by the Maxwell Football Club.
Quarterback Braxton Miller was named to the watch list for the Maxwell award, which is given annually to college football's most outstanding player. One of eight sophomores to be named to the 65-member list, Miller threw for 1,159 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2011, while also adding 715 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on the ground en route to being named the Big Ten's Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year.
"I like the way he throws. I like his delivery. I think he's a ridiculous athlete," Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said of Miller at his introductory press conference on Nov. 28. "I think he could be special."
Defensive linemen John Simon and Johnathan Hankins were also honored on Monday, with each player being named to the watch list for the Bednarik Award, which is given to college football's top defensive player.
A senior out of Youngstown, Ohio, Simon has already been named to the Lott IMPACT award watch list. The Buckeyes' starting left defensive end, Simon recorded 53 tackles- 16 of which came for a loss- and seven sacks in 2011, en route to being named a third-team All-American by the Associated Press.
Lauded for his work ethic- which Meyer has compared to that of 2007 Heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow, Simon has already been named a captain of the 2012 Buckeyes.
In his first full season as a starter, the 317-pound Hankins accumulated 67 tackles- 11 of which came for a loss- and three sacks in 2011. The junior from Dearborn Heights, Mich. earned an honorable All-Big Ten mention as a result of his sophomore campaign.
Semifinalists for both the Maxwell and Bednarik awards will be named on Oct. 29, with three finalists being unveiled on Nov. 19. Both awards will be handed out at the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show on Dec. 6.