As a general rule, the college football award watch lists that have filtered out over the past weeks are fun but frivolous. I learned this as a young buck — three years ago — covering the University of Missouri when the best receiver in the country was not eligible for the Biletnikoff Award because of an arcane technicality. Mizzou wideout Danario Alexander caught 113 passes for a national-leading 1,781 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2009, wiping out the school’s single-season receiving records and earning first-team All-American honors from Sports Illustrated.
Naturally, Alexander received no consideration for the honor because he was not included on the award’s everybody-and-their-great-aunt preseason watch list. (The list featured 75 players last season). Rules were rules, and thus Notre Dame’s Golden Tate won the award over finalists Freddie Barnes of Bowling Green and Texas’ Jordan Shipley. Who ultimately deserved the prize? Debatable. That Alexander was among the top three receivers in the nation was not.
But enough buzz kill. The lists are fun to pore over, and who am I to argue with that? Here's a list of Ohio State players on watch lists so far, including senior tight end Jake Stoneburner, who remains suspended from team activities as punishment for his misdemeanor arrest in May but is expected to rejoin the Buckeyes in good standing by the start of fall camp:
Bednarik (Defensive POY): John Simon, Sr.
Maxwell (QB): Braxton Miller, So.
Mackey (TE): Jake Stoneburner, Sr.
Lou Groza (K): Drew Basil, Jr.
Outland (Interior lineman): Johnathan Hankins, Jr.
Nagurski (Defensive POY): Simon, Hankins.
Butkus Award (LB): Etienne Sabino, Sr.
Lombardi Award (Lineman): Stoneburner, Sr.; Hankins, Jr.; Simon, Sr.
Biletnikoff (WR): Corey Brown, Jr.
Davey O'Brien (QB): Braxton Miller, So.
Doak Walker (RB): Jordan Hall, Sr.
Walter Camp (POY): None