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Football: McGuire Named To Maxwell Award Watch List

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns running back Elijah McGuire was named to his second preseason watch list in as many days when he was one of 80 players named on Tuesday to the watch list for the 79th annual Maxwell Award.
McGuire, who was named to the Paul Hornung Award Watch List on Monday, was one of four Sun Belt Conference players on the 80-man watch list joining Fredi Knighten (Arkansas State), Marcus Cox (Appalachian State) and Matt Brieda (Georgia Southern). The Houma, La., native was one of three players from state schools on the list where he was joined by LSU’s Leonard Fournette and Louisiana Tech’s Kenneth Dixon.
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 time as a player, a sportswriter and an official.
McGuire, the reigning Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year, rushed for 1,264 yards and 14 touchdowns on the season while leading the Ragin’ Cajuns with 45 receptions. McGuire joined Brian Mitchell, Michael Desormeaux and Tyrell Fenroy as the only players in school history to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season and joined Fenroy as the only players to rush for over 2,000 yards in their first two seasons.
Among NCAA individuals, McGuire finished 29th nationally in rushing yards, 19th in all-purpose yards (1,848) and third in yards per carry (7.61). McGuire recorded a rushing touchdown in nine consecutive games during the season and accounted for a team-best 22 plays (13 rushes, eight receptions, one punt return) of 20 yards or more on the season, including seven plays of 40 yards or greater.
The watch lists will once again incorporate a broad spectrum of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) programs and conferences from coast to coast. Returning Maxwell Award semifinalists include Florida State transfer QB Everett Golson, who’s looking to fill Jameis Winston’s big shoes, TCU QB Trevone Boykin, Pittsburgh RB James Conner, Michigan State QB Connor Cook and returning Maxwell Award finalist Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott. Ohio State leads the pack with four players on the list, including RB Ezekiel Elliott and three accomplished quarterbacks, Cardale Jones, J.T. Barrett and Braxton Miller, who’ll compete for the coveted starting position this summer.
Semifinalists for the Maxwell Award will be announced November 2, 2015, while the three finalists will be unveiled November 23, 2015. The winner of the 2015 Maxwell Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on December 10, 2015.