Local collegiate stars tabbed for award watchlists

Mizzou, Kansas and K-State athletes named to several watchlists
Kansas State quarterback Will Howard (18) celebrates with the crowd as he is carried off the...
Kansas State quarterback Will Howard (18) celebrates with the crowd as he is carried off the field by teammates after an NCAA college football game against Oklahoma State Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, in Manhattan, Kan. Kansas State won 48-0. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)(Charlie Riedel | AP)
Published: Aug. 1, 2023 at 5:48 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - As of Tuesday, numerous award watchlists were announced as college football season inches closer.

The Maxwell Award is named after former collegiate player Robert “Tiny” Maxwell who played at Swarthmore College and proceeded to become a sportswriter and football official.

The 87th Maxwell Award preseason watchlist includes Kansas State quarterback Will Howard, Kansas quarterback Jalon Daniels and Kansas running back Devin Neal.

Howard’s inclusion on the list marks the seventh-straight year a Wildcat has been up for the award after leading the 2022 Big 12 champions and he will be up against two sunflower state rivals out of Lawrence. Daniels was named Big 12 Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and Neal, a Lawrence product and preseason All-Big 12 selection, became the 13th Jayhawk in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season in 2022.

READ MORE: Where K-State, KU fall in preseason Big 12 football poll

Both Kansas junior cornerback Cobee Bryant, and Missouri defenders Kris Abrams-Draine and Ty’Ron Hopper were among the 94 players named to the initial watch list for the 2023 Bronko Nagurdki Trophy, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) announced Tuesday.

Both tigers earned Preseason Second-Team All-Southeastern Conference honors from the league’s media. Abrams-Draine was second in the SEC last year with 14 pass breakups and was named preseason First-Team All-SEC honors from Phil Steele and Fourth-Team All-SEC accolades from Athlon Sports. Bryant was the third Jayhawk named to a preseason watch list, earned a Preseason All-Big 12 selection and in his sophomore campaign, he finished with three interceptions, nine pass breakups, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

Additionally, Kansas State’s Kobe Savage is on the initial watch list for the award. Savage earned All-Big 12 Second Team honors and picked up votes for the Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year award in his first season after transferring from Tyler Junior College.

READ MORE: After years of construction, Mizzou opens $33 million football facility

The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce finalists for the 2023 trophy which honors the National Defensive Player of the Year on Nov. 15 and the winner will be unveiled Dec. 4 at the Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet in Charlotte, N.C. Bronislaw “Bronko” Nagurski is a charter member of both the College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame.

Missouri senior Javon Foster was one of 91 returning interior linemen named to the 78th Outland Trophy Watch List. He earned Preseason Second-Team All-Southeastern Conference honors from the league’s media. Foster was a 13-game starter a year ago at left tackle and has 37 career appearances for the Tigers. Athlon Sports named him First-Team Preseason All-SEC while Phil Steele awarded second-team honors.

Kansas State’s Cooper Beebe and KT Leveston were also named the the Outland Trophy watch list and makes the Wildcats the only Big 12 school with multiple players represented on the watch list. Beebe was named a preseason candidate last season for the same award and was named a First Team All-American by multiple outlets in addition to earning the Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year award from the league’s coaches. Leveston started all games for the Wildcats last season and earned All-Big 12 Honorable Mention accolades.

The recipient of the 2023 Outland Trophy will be announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards in December.

READ MORE: Missouri to host Oklahoma, Arkansas in 2024 as SEC football opponents unveiled

For the second-straight season Kansas State’s Randen Plattner is a candidate for the Patrick Manndelly Long Snapper of the Year Award. Plattner was a semifinalist for last year’s Mannelly Award and is one of 25 candidates on the 2023 watch list, joining four other long snappers from Big 12 programs.

The Parkville, Missouri native is entering his second senior season with extra eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is a three-time First Team Academic All-Big 12 performer.

READ MORE: Colorado leaving Pac-12 and returning to Big 12 in 2024 following unanimous vote by board of regents

The upcoming season kicks off in Columbia first as Missouri hosts South Dakota on August 31 and is followed by Kansas hosting Missouri State on September 1 and Kansas State hosting Southeastern Missouri on September 2. Tickets for Missouri, Kansas and K-State can be found here.

READ MORE ON KANSAS AND MISSOURI SPORTS HERE and watch KC Sports Tonight at 6:30 p.m. on weeknights and 10:35 p.m. on weekends.