In the past week, several various organizations released their watch lists for different college football awards and five different Buckeyes made six of those lists.
First off, Jeff Heuerman was named to the Mackey Award watch list as awarded to college football’s top tight end. Four other Big Ten tight ends were also named to that list including Minnesota’s Maxx Williams, Penn State’s Kyle Carter and Jesse James and Rutgers’ Tyler Kroft.
The John Mackey Award is presented annually to college football’s most outstanding tight end who best exemplifies the play, sportsmanship, academics, and community values of NFL Hall of Fame tight end John Mackey.
Since its inception in 2000, no Ohio State player has won the Mackey Award.
Next, Cameron Johnston was named to the Guy Award watch list for the nation’s top punter. Along with Johnston, Michigan State’s Mike Sadler and Minnesota’s Peter Mortell also made the list.
The Ray Guy Award is presented annually to college football’s top punter by the Augusta Sports Council. The award is named after punter Ray Guy, a former All-American at Southern Mississippi and an all-pro player for the Oakland Raiders.
The Guy Ward also began in 2000 with Ohio State’s B.J. Sander winning it in 2003.
Ohio State’s Michael Bennett and Joey Bosa were named to the Rotary Lombardi Award watch list, which is awarded annually to the best college football lineman or linebacker.
Others from the Big Ten include Iowa’s Austin Blythe, Carl Davis and Brandon Scherff, Michigan’s Jake Ryan, Michigan State’s Shilique Calhoun, Nebraska’s Randy Gregory, Northwestern’s Chi Chi Ariguzo, Rutgers’ Kaleb Johnson and Wisconsin’s Rob Havenstein.
The Lombardi Award program was approved by the Rotary Club in Houston in 1970 shortly after the death of Vince Lombardi, for whom the Super Bowl trophy is also named. The committee outlined the criteria for eligibility for the award, which remains in place to this day. A player should be a down lineman on either offense or defense or a linebacker who lines up no farther than five yards deep from the ball. The main part of the trophy is a block of Granite, paying homage to Lombardi’s college days at Fordham University as an offensive lineman when his offensive line was referred to as the “7 Blocks of Granite.” A nominee must show leadership, courage, desire, respect for authority and discipline.
Ohio State currently holds the record for most Lombardi awards with 6: Jim Stillwagon – 1970, John Hicks – 1973, Chris Spielman – 1987, Orlando Pace – 1995 & 1996, and A.J. Hawk – 2004.
For the Nagurski Trophy watch list, Bennett and Bosa also made that list along with Iowa’s Carl Davis, Michigan’s Frank Clark, Blake Countess and Jake Ryan, Michigan State’s Shilique Calhoun, Kurtis Drummond and Trae Waynes, and Nebraska’s Randy Gregory.
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy has been awarded annually since 1993 to the collegiate football player adjudged by the membership of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) to be the best defensively in the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The award is presented by the Charlotte Touchdown Club and the FWAA. The award is named for Bronko Nagurski, who played football for the University of Minnesota and the Chicago Bears.
Ohio State’s James Laurinaitis was the lone Buckeye to win the award, doing so in 2006.
For the Outland Trophy, Bennett was also named to the list. Since 1946, the Outland Trophy has been awarded to the best United States college football interior lineman by the Football Writers Association of America. It is named after John H. Outland, one of only a handful of players ever to be named All-America at two positions.
Eight others from the Big Ten include Iowa’s Carl Davis and Brandon Scherff, Michigan State’s Jack Allen and Jack Conklin, Northwestern’s Brandon Vitabile, Penn State’s Donovan Smith, Rutgers’ Kaleb Johnson and Wisconsin’s Rob Havenstein.
Four Buckeyes have previously won the Outland Trophy: Jim Parker – 1956, Jim Stillwagon – 1970, John Hicks – 1973, and Orlando Pace – 1996.
Earlier today, Ohio State’s Devin Smith was named to the Biletnikoff Award watch list, which goes to the nation’s most outstanding receiver.
The Fred Biletnikoff Award is presented annually to the most outstanding receiver in college football by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation, Inc., an independent not-for-profit organization which created the award in 1994 and has sponsored it since. The award is named for Fred Biletnikoff, who played college football at Florida State University and professionally with the Oakland Raiders
Others from the Big Ten include Indiana’s Shane Wynn, Maryland’s Stefon Diggs, Michigan’s Devin Funchess, Nebraska’s Kenny Bell, and Northwestern’s Christian Jones.
In 1995, Ohio State Terry Glenn became the first and only Buckeye to win the Biletnikoff Award.