FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas football team placed three student-athletes on the Maxwell Award Watch List and two on the Bednarik Award Watch List, it was announced Tuesday.
Arkansas is one of four teams with at least three student-athletes on the Maxwell Award Watch List and one of 14 programs across the country with multiple student-athletes on the Bednarik Award Watch List.
Greg Childs, Knile Davis and Tyler Wilson were named to the Maxwell Award Watch List, while Jake Bequette and Jerry Franklin earned recognition on the Bendarik Award Watch List. The Maxwell Award is given to college football’s player of the year, and the Chuck Bednarik Award is given to the defensive player of the year in college football.
In 2010, Childs tied for the team lead with six receiving touchdowns and ranked third on the team with 659 receiving yards and 49 receptions despite missing the final five games due to an injury. His two 100-yard receiving games ranked eighth in the SEC. He enters the 2011 season ranked eighth on Arkansas’ all-time career touchdown receptions list with 15, 10th on UA’s all-time career receptions list with 112 and 10th on the Razorbacks’ all-time career receiving yards list with 1,826 to lead all current Razorbacks in each category. His five career 100-yard receiving games are tied for the most among 2011 Razorbacks and fourth all-time at Arkansas.
Davis was named first-team All-SEC by the AP and second-team All-SEC by the conference’s coaches in 2010 after becoming just the 10th player in Arkansas history to post a 1,000-yard season on the ground. He rushed for 1,322 yards, the most by a running back in the SEC and the fourth-highest single-season total in program history. His 6.48 yards per rushing attempt was the highest average in the NCAA among running backs that carried the ball at least 200 times and ranked as the fifth-highest single-season average at Arkansas. His average of 101.7 rushing yards per game ranked second in the SEC and 16th in the NCAA. He also ranked sixth in the SEC with 13 rushing touchdowns, tied for the 10th-highest single-season total in Arkansas history, and tied for sixth in the SEC for points by a non-kicker with 84. His six 100-yard rushing games tied for the fourth-highest single-season total in school history.
Wilson became just the ninth quarterback in Arkansas history to throw for 300 yards in a game when he came on in relief of an injured Ryan Mallett in the second quarter at No. 7 Auburn. In less than three full quarters against the Tigers, Wilson passed for a career-high 323 yards, including a career-long 54-yard completion, and a career-high four touchdowns. His touchdown total tied for the fourth-highest single-game output in school history, and his passing yardage equated to the 14th-best single-game performance by a Razorback. His four passing touchdowns tied for the third-highest single-game output in the SEC in 2010, and his passing yards were the 12th-best single-game total in the conference. His four touchdowns were the most the Tigers had allowed at home since 2000, and his 332 passing yards were the most given up by an Auburn defense inside Jordan-Hare Stadium since 2001. He appeared in six games during the 2010 season and finished 34-of-51 passing for 453 yards.
Bequette ranked fifth in the SEC and led the Razorbacks with 7.0 sacks in 2010, the eighth-highest single-season total in school history. The Little Rock, Ark., native also tied for the team lead with five quarterback hurries and ranked fourth on the team with 8.5 tackles for loss last season. He enters the 2011 season tied for 10th on Arkansas’ all-time career sacks list with 13.5 and also leads the 2011 Razorbacks with 19 career quarterback hurries. Bequette was named second-team All-SEC at the conclusion of the 2010 season and has been selected as a preseason first-team All-SEC player this season. In addition, he is one of 42 players on the 2011 Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List.
Franklin led the team and ranked 10th in the SEC with a career-high 100 tackles in 2010, becoming just the second Razorback since 1960 to lead the team in tackles three straight seasons. He also led the team and tied for seventh in the SEC with a career-high 13.0 tackles for loss and tied for the team lead with five quarterback hurries. He ranked second on the team and eighth in the conference with 6.5 sacks, another career high, while adding two pass breakups and one forced fumble. He made a career-high 20 tackles at Mississippi State to post the highest total in the SEC and the fifth-highest total in the NCAA last season.
Semifinalists for the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced October 31st, and the three finalists for each award will be unveiled November 21st. The winner of the 2011 Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced as part of the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show held on December 8th. 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 2, 2012.
The watch list candidates have been chosen by the Maxwell Football Club’s selection committee, evaluating past performance and future potential. The Club reserves the right to make additions and deletions to these lists as the 2011 season unfolds. All members of the Maxwell Football Club, NCAA sports information directors, head coaches, and selected national media are eligible to vote for the awards.