ROSLYN, Pa.--University of Arizona seniors Willie Tuitama and Mike Thomas have been named to the Watch List for the Maxwell Award, putting them in focus among those under early consideration as the nation's outstanding football player for 2008.
Maxwell Football Club President Ron Jaworski today announced the 2008 Watch Lists for the 72nd Maxwell Award and the 14th Chuck Bednarik Award. Each list is comprised of 75 players selected based on their performance during the 2007 season.
The Maxwell Award has been presented to the outstanding collegiate football player in America since 1937 and is named in honor of Robert W. "Tiny" Maxwell. The Bednarik Award has been presented since 1995 to an outstanding defensive player and is named in honor of Chuck Bednarik, a former University of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Eagle great.
Tim Tebow of the University of Florida was the recipient of the Maxwell Award and Dan Connor of Penn State University was awarded the Bednarik Award for their outstanding performances during the 2007 season.
Tuitama led the Pac-10 with 28 touchdown throws and accumulated a school-record 3,683 passing yards among other program marks in his first season running the spread offense. Thomas had 83 receptions for 1,083 yards, led the Pac-10 with 11 touchdown catches and has a good chance to surpass Dennis Northcutt and Bobby Wade to become UA's all-time leading receiver this year. Tuitama, too, likely will pass longtime UA passing record holder Tom Tunnicliffe on the career chart.