– Arkansas running backs Alex Collins
and Jonathan Williams
have been named to the 78-man watch list for the 78th annual Maxwell Award, The Maxwell Football Club announced Monday.
The Maxwell Award has been given annually to America's outstanding collegiate football player since 1937, and the award is named in honor of sportswriter Robert W. "Tiny" Maxwell.
Arkansas is one of four programs in the country with multiple running backs named to the list, joining Texas, Alabama and Oregon, while 19 programs had two more athletes make an appearance.
In 2013, Collins was named SEC Freshman of the Year, a Freshman All-American and to the SEC All-Freshman Team. He became the first freshman in SEC history to start his career with three straight 100-yard rushing games and the first true freshman in FBS since Oklahoma’s Adrian Peterson in 2004. Collins became the second freshman in school history, 10th true freshman in SEC history and 68th true freshman in NCAA history to reach 1,000 rushing yards, finishing the season with 1,026 on 190 carries with four touchdowns. He added 63 yards on 11 receptions for a team-high 1,089 all-purpose yards.
Williams played in all 12 games last season, finishing with 150 rushes for 900 yards and four touchdowns. He added seven receptions for 72 yards and two scores. Williams was an honorable mention to the College Football News All-Sophomore team and was named to the Doak Walker Award Watch List in 2013. He rushed for a career-high 151 yards and a 75-yard touchdown run last season against Louisiana and teamed up with Collins to produce Arkansas’ second pair of teammates to each rush for at least 900 yards in a season.
Semifinalists for the Maxwell Award will be announced November 3, 2014, while the three finalists will be unveiled November 24, 2014. The winner will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on December 11, 2014. The formal presentation will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Revel Casino Hotel Atlantic City on March 6, 2015.
The watch list candidates have been chosen by the Maxwell Football Club's selection committee, which analyzes both past performance and future potential. The Club reserves the right to make additions and deletions to these lists as the 2014 season unfolds. All members of the Maxwell Football Club, NCAA sports information directors, FBS head coaches and selected national media are eligible to vote for the awards.
The Maxwell Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football.
Collins, Williams and the Razorbacks open their season Aug. 30 at Auburn. The season opener will begin at 3 p.m. and be broadcast nationally on the SEC Network.
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