CLEMSON — Almost every preseason watch list for college football awards and trophies included a representative from Clemson.
Eleven different Clemson players were included on at least one of the exhaustive lists released during the summer. They are lists that track likely candidates for each respective award but are not limited to the actual potential winners.
Except for the Ray Guy Award — returning punter Andy Teasdall was not one of the 28 names mentioned — every list produced at least one Clemson player.
Quarterback Deshaun Watson, last year’s third-place finisher in Heisman Trophy voting, is on a total of three football-only lists: two honoring the nation’s best player (Maxwell and Walter Camp) and another tracking the best quarterbacks (Davey O’Brien.) In 2015, Watson won the O’Brien and Manning Awards and was a Maxwell and Walter Camp finalist for being the first Division I player to reach 4,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in one season.
Separately, Watson was named to the Danny Wuerfful and AFCA Good Works Team watch lists, which recognize community service in conjunction with athletic and academic performance.
Running back Wayne Gallman, who set Clemson’s single-season rushing record in 2015, is also on three lists: the Maxwell and Walter Camp lists, plus the Doak Walker list for running backs.
Three Clemson defensive players are on the Bednarik and Nagurski watch lists honoring the nation’s best defenders: defensive tackle Carlos Watkins, linebacker Ben Boulware and cornerback Cordrea Tankersley. All three players are also on a separate list for their respective positions.
Wide receivers Artavis Scott and Mike Williams are being monitored for the Biletkinoff Award; it is Williams’ third career appearance on the list. Williams, returning from a fractured neck in the 2015 season opener, is also on the Maxwell Award list, while Scott is being tracked for the Paul Hornung Award honoring versatile players.
Tight end Jordan Leggett, a Mackey Award finalist in 2015, is on that watch list, plus the Walter Camp Award watch list.
Center Jay Guillermo is on two watch lists for linemen, including the Rimington Award for centers, while right guard Tyrone Crowder is on the Outland Trophy list for linemen.
While 11 Clemson players are on a watch list, there are two notable omissions: left tackle Mitch Hyatt and defensive lineman Christian Wilkins, expected to be among the Tigers’ leaders in 2016 coming off strong freshman seasons.
Head coach Dabo Swinney is on the Bobby Dodd Watch list, a trophy he won in 2011.
Meanwhile, South Carolina had a total of four players recognized on watch lists as the Gamecocks look to rebuild under new head coach Will Muschamp following last year’s 3-9 finish.
The four watch lists containing one Tiger and one Gamecock are as follows: the Doak Walker Award for running backs (Clemson’s Gallman, USC’s David Williams), the Rimington Trophy for centers (Clemson’s Guillermo, USC’s Alan Knott), the Dick Butkus Award for linebackers (Clemson’s Boulware, USC’s T.J. Holloman) and the Lou Groza Award for kickers (Clemson’s Greg Huegel, USC’s Elliott Fry.)