Watch list season is upon us.
With all of the experience coming back to a Penn State squad that reached the Rose Bowl last year, fans can expect to see Nittany Lions populating many of these preseason rolls. Monday morning proved that this would be the case this summer as Saquon Barkley and Trace McSorley, the catalysts of the Penn State offense, were both named to the Maxwell Award watch list.
The Maxwell Award, first given out in 1937, is given to the best all-around collegiate football player as decided by media members, coaches, and the Maxwell Football Club. In its history, seven different Nittany Lions have taken home the Maxwell with the last being running back Larry Johnson in 2002.
Barkley, the junior running back and Heisman contender, rushed for 1,496 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2016. He was also a threat catching passes out the backfield, gaining 404 yards on 28 receptions while tacking on another four touchdowns through the air. He was named the Running Back of the Year as well as the Offensive Player of the Year in the Big Ten last season.
McSorley started the 2016 campaign slow, but came into his own over the final two-thirds of the season, completing nearly 58% of his passes while throwing for 3,614 yards to go along with a 29/8 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He was named as the Big Ten second-team quarterback by both the media and coaches last year.