COLUMBUS, Ohio – Three Ohio State Buckeyes – defensive linemen John Simon and Johnathan Hankins and quarterback Braxton Miller – were named today to 2012 watch lists announced by the Maxwell Football Club.
Simon and Hankins were each named to the watch list for the 18th Bednarik Award and Miller is one of only eight sophomores chosen to the 65-member Maxwell Award watch list.
Simon, a third-team Associated Press All-American as a junior and first-team all-Big Ten choice, is also on the Lott IMPACT Award watch list so far this preseason. He led the Buckeyes last year with seven quarterback sacks and 16 tackles for loss (for minus-59 yards), figures that ranked fifth and seventh, respectively, in the Big Ten Conference. The sport and leisure studies major enters his senior campaign with 11.5 career sacks and 28.5 career tackles-for-loss.
Hankins, a junior majoring in criminology, is a rising star who has played in all 26 games the past two years including making 13 starts last season as a sophomore. He recorded 67 tackles last season – trailing the team leader by only five – and he was named honorable mention all-Big Ten. He had 11 tackles for losses totaling 24 yards plus three quarterback sacks.
Miller, a communications major, threw for 1,159 yards and 13 touchdowns (with only four interceptions) and he led the team in rushing with 715 yards and seven touchdowns last year as a freshman. He was honored with the Big Ten Conference’s Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year award.
The Maxwell Award has been given to America’s outstanding collegiate football player since 1937, and is named in honor of sportswriter Robert W. “Tiny” Maxwell. The Bednarik Award has been presented to the nation’s top defensive player since 1995. A former standout at Penn and with the Philadelphia Eagles, Chuck Bednarik is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame’s Class of ’69 and the NFL Hall of Fame’s Class of ’67.
Semifinalists for the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced October 29, and the three finalists for each award will be unveiled November 19. The winners of the 2011 Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced as part of the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show held on December 6. The formal presentation of these awards will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Harrah’s Entertainment Atlantic City on March 1, 2013.