COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The start of the 2013 college football season is still more than a month away, but a quintet of Ohio State players were honored on Monday by being named to preseason award watch lists.
The Buckeyes' two leading rushers from their undefeated 2012 campaign -- quarterback Braxton Miller and running back Carlos Hyde -- were each named to the watch list for the Maxwell Award, while safety C.J. Barnett, cornerback Bradley Roby, and linebacker Ryan Shazier each make appearances on the Chuck Bednarik Award watch list.
Awarded since 1937, the Maxwell Award is presented annually to college football's best player. Miller's inclusion on the list comes as no surprise, after the junior-to-be tallied an Ohio State record 3,310 yards of total offense last season, in addition to accounting for 28 total touchdowns (15 passing, 13 rushing).
Hyde enjoyed a breakout year in Urban Meyer's spread offense in 2012, rushing for 970 yards and 16 touchdowns in 10 games. Between the production of Miller and Hyde, the Buckeyes possessed what was the nation's 10th ranked rushing offense a year ago.
On the other side of the ball, the Bednarik Award is given each year to college football's top defensive player. A fourth-year junior, Roby made the cut after a 2012 season that saw the All-Big Ten selection lead the nation in passes defended per game (1.73 average, 19 total), in addition to recording 63 total tackles and two interceptions.
Also an All-Big Ten player last season, Shazier led the Buckeyes with 115 tackles in 2012, including 17 that came for a loss and five sacks. The junior linebacker also defended 12 passes, including one interception that he returned for a touchdown.
Entering his senior season at Ohio State, Barnett recorded 56 tackles a year ago, while defending eight passes including two interceptions. The Dayton, Ohio native is one of the players whom Meyer has mentioned as one of the Buckeyes' top leaders for the 2013 season.
Semifinalists for both awards will be named on October 29, while three finalists will be named on November 25. The winners will be announced on December 12, as a part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show.