PHILADELPHIA - Four Arizona State University football student-athletes have been named to the watch lists for the annual Maxwell and Bednarik awards, the Maxwell Football Club announced Monday.
Running back Marion Grice, quarterback Taylor Kelly and defensive tackle Will Suttonwere placed on the Maxwell Award Watch List, and Sutton and defensive end Carl Bradford earned spots on the Bednarik Award Watch List.
The Sun Devils' three representatives on the 75-person Maxwell Award Watch List are the second most in the NCAA, ahead of 13 other schools with two representatives on the list. Alabama has the most with four.
The Maxwell Award has been given to America's College Player of the Year since 1937 and the Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995.
ASU is one of only six schools with multiple representatives on both watch lists. The other four are Notre Dame, Ohio State, Stanford, UCLA and USC.
The Pac-12 has 15 total selections on the Maxwell Award Watch List and its six member institutions with multiple selections leads all conferences, two more than the Southeastern Conference.
ASU's two selections on the 75-person Bednarik Watch List are the second most in the Pac-12 behind Stanford's three. The Pac-12 has 14 total selections and ASU is one of 14 schools with multiple representatives.
All four Sun Devils on the watch lists earned All-Pac-12 honors in 2012 and Kelly also received Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention recognition.
Sutton, who is one of just six defensive players, including four defensive tackles, on the Maxwell Award Watch List, became ASU's 18th Consensus All-American in 2012. He was also the recipient of the Pac-12 Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year award and the prestigious Morris Trophy, as well as the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Defensive MVP. He finished his junior year ranked second in the nation in 1.92 tackles for loss per game and third nationally with 1.08 sacks per game.
Sutton also served as the official starter for the 9th Annual Pat's Run Kids Run this past April and was named a finalist for the Outstanding Student-Athlete NCAA award.
Grice finished the 2012 season with 19 touchdowns, third most on ASU's all-time single-season list, and scored 114 points, which ranks fifth on the school's single-season chart. He led the team in both rushing yards and all-purpose yards, and was named the Offensive MVP of the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl after collecting 159 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Kelly set school records in both completion percentage (67.1 percent) and passing efficiency (159.9) in 2012, and his 29 touchdown passes were the second most in school history. He threw for a career-high five touchdowns in a win over Colorado last season and also set the school record with 19 consecutive completions against Washington State. Kelly also ran for more than 500 yards and accounted for more than 3,500 total yards of offense in 2012.
Both Grice and Kelly are heavily involved in the Scholar Baller Leadership and Outreach Program, where they help develop curriculum, deliver, teach and mentor students at South Mountain High School, Academy of Excellence and Cesar Chavez High School. They teach teenagers about developing championship character, creating a strong sense of self and becoming a great leader, among other things.
Bradford ranked second on the team with 11.5 sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss, and also tied for the team lead with three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He and Sutton became just the first duo in school history to post double digits in sacks in the same season since 1994, and Bradford's 1.58 tackles for loss per game was good for 11th in the nation in 2012 and second in the Pac-12 behind Sutton.
2013 Sun Devil Award Watch Lists
Maxwell Award (nation's most outstanding player) - Marion Grice, Taylor Kelly, Will Sutton
Bednarik Award (nation's most outstanding defensive player) - Carl Bradford, Sutton
Hornung Award (nation's most versatile player) - DJ Foster
Rimington Award (nation's top center) - Kody Koebensky
Lott IMPACT Trophy (positive influence both on and off the field) - Alden Darby
Semifinalists for the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced Oct. 29, while the three finalists for each award will be unveiled Nov. 18. The winners of the 2013 Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced as part of the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show held on Dec. 5. The formal presentations of these awards will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Harrah's Entertainment Atlantic City on March 7, 2014.
The Maxwell Award, named in honor of Robert W. "Tiny" Maxwell, has been given to America's College Player of the Year since 1937. Maxwell's contributions to the game of football were extensive, including as a player, a sportswriter and an official. The Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995. Chuck Bednarik, former standout at Penn and with the Philadelphia Eagles, is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame's Class of '69 and the NFL Hall of Fame's Class of '67.
About the Watch List
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 2013 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 and Chuck Bednarik Awards are members of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 21 awards boast 678 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit www.NCFAA.org to learn more about our story.