The outstanding play of quarterback James Franklin and defensive end Michael Sam have earned them spots on the watch lists of two of college football’s most prestigious awards.Franklin was added to the watch list for the Maxwell Award, which is given to the nation’s top college football player. The senior has been spectacular in leading the resurgent No. 25 Tigers to a perfect 5-0 start.
Franklin has completed 68 percent of his passes (114 of 168) for 1,407 yards and thirteen touchdowns. He has also regained his dual threat form of 2011, rushing for 278 yards and two touchdowns.
Meanwhile, Sam was added to the watch list for the Bednarik Award, which is given to college football’s top defensive player.
After three solid seasons, the senior from Texas has emerged as one of the best linemen in the SEC. Sam has had three sacks in each of the last two games en route to being named the SEC Defensive Line Player of the Week two weeks in a row. He is the only player in country so far to record three sacks in a game twice. Sam leads the SEC in tackles for a loss with 10 and his six sacks tie him for the conference lead.
Senior cornerback E.J. Gaines, who has 32 tackles and three interceptions, is already on the watch list for the Bednarik Award.
View the Maxwell Watch List press release here.