PHILADELPHIA – The Maxwell Football Club, presenters of the Maxwell Award and the Chuck Bednarik Award, has announced its 2016 Watch Lists. Temple senior quarterback P.J. Walker
and senior running back Jahad Thomas
earned a spot on the list for the Maxwell Award, given to college football's most outstanding player, while junior defensive back Sean Chandler
made the Bednarik Award list given annually to the nation's best college defensive player.
Walker, from Elizabeth, N.J., is entering his fourth season as starter for the Owls. He is already the school's all-time leader in touchdown passes (52), completions (601) and total offense (8,237), and is within striking distance of every major TU passing record.
Thomas, who was a teammate of Walker's at Elizabeth High School, earned first team All-American Athletic Conference honors in 2015 when he rushed for 1,262 yards and 17 touchdowns. The senior playmaker also added 216 receiving yards and two additional scores, including a school-record 100-yard kickoff return touchdown.
Chandler is a junior who has been a starter for Temple since crossing the bridge from Camden, N.J., to North Philadelphia in 2014. He received second team All-American Athletic Conference in 2015 when he recorded 66 tackles, 5.5 TFLs, 1.0 sacks, four interceptions and 10 pass breakups. Two of his four interceptions were returned for touchdowns.
The watch lists will once again incorporate a broad spectrum of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) programs and conferences from coast to coast. There are 90 players on each list and only Baylor and Clemson place more than Temple's two on the Maxwell Award List. While Chandler is the lone Owl on the Bednarik List, he attempts to follow 2015 Bednarik Award winner, Temple's Tyler Matakevich
, who moved on to the professional ranks and is now a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Semifinalists for the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced October 31, 2016, while the three finalists for each award will be unveiled November 21, 2016. The winners of the 2016 Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on December 8, 2016. The formal presentations of these awards will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Tropicana Hotel & Casino Atlantic City on March 10, 2017.
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. The Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995. Chuck Bednarik, former standout at Penn and with the Philadelphia Eagles, 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.
The Maxwell and Bednarik Awards are members of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 22 awards boast over 722 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit www.NCFAA.org to learn more.