Maxwell Football Club President, Ron Jaworski, announced the 2014 Semifinalists for the 78th Maxwell Award for the Collegiate Player of the Year and the 20th Chuck Bednarik Award for the Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year. The respective lists include a field of 20 candidates for the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards, as selected by the Maxwell Football Club National Selection Committee.
A strong field of Maxwell Award semifinalists includes a representative from every Power Five conference. Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon, Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty and Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston are repeat semifinalists from 2013.
On the defensive side of the ball, the field of contenders is comprised of fresh faces, 17 of whom are making their debuts as Bednarik Award semifinalists. Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley, Oregon cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, and USC defensive end Leonard Williams are repeat semifinalists from a season ago.
Last season, the Maxwell Award went to Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron, while the Bednarik Award was earned by defensive tackle Aaron Donald of Pittsburgh. This was the first time an Alabama player took home the Maxwell Award, and the first time that Pittsburgh coveted the Bednarik Award.
The winners of the 78th Maxwell Award and the 20th Chuck Bednarik Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show which will be broadcast on ESPN on December 11, 2014. Three finalists for each award will be announced on November 24, 2014 and a second round of voting will take place at that time. The formal presentation of these awards will be made at the Maxwell Football Club's 78th Awards Gala on Friday, March 13, 2014 at the Tropicana Resort & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Semifinalist voting for both of the collegiate awards presented by the Maxwell Football Club will begin on Thursday, November 6th and close on Sunday November 23rd. Eligible voters include Maxwell Football Club members, NCAA Head Football Coaches, Sports Information Directors and selected national media. All Semifinalists are listed in alphabetical order with the player's school, position and class designated.
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 699 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit www.NCFAA.org to learn more about our story.
2014 Maxwell Award Semifinalists:
2014 Chuck Bednarik Award Semifinalists: