Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel appears on the 2014 Maxwell Award preseason watch list, released Monday.
Driskel threw for 477 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions in 2013 before a broken leg suffered against Tennessee brought his junior season to a premature end. In his sophomore campaign for the Gators, Driskel accounted for 2,054 yards and 16 touchdowns with his arm and legs, and threw just five interceptions, while compiling a 10-2 record as Florida's starting quarterback.
34 quarterbacks — including Duke's Anthony Boone, N.C. State's Jacoby Brissett, Nevada's Cody Fajardo, Old Dominion's Taylor Heinicke, and Temple's P.J. Walker — appear on the 2014 Maxwell Award preseason watch list. Driskel is one of just four SEC quarterbacks on the list: Alabama's Jacob Coker, Auburn's Nick Marshall, and Mississippi State's Dak Prescott are the three others.
Florida quarterbacks Danny Wuerffel (1996) and Tim Tebow (2007 and 2008) are past winners of the Maxwell Award, which is given to the "America's College Player of the Year," but usually to the offensive player of the year. "All members of the Maxwell Football Club, NCAA sports information directors, FBS head coaches and selected national media" are eligible to vote for the Maxwell Award.
Tebow is one of just two players in college football history to win the award twice; Notre Dame's Johnny Lattner, who did so in 1952 and 1953, is the other.
College football award watch lists are stupid: They are beholden to confirmation and recency biases, and, while designed to be comprehensive to the point of absurdity, often fail to capture the breadth of talent in the sport.
More than zero college football awards last year went to guys not on preseason watch lists, which is why preseason watch lists are pointless— Rodger Sherman (@rodger_sherman) July 7, 2014
None of the watch lists mean anything: The number of players on those lists means that the quality of player on the list largely varies from good to extraordinary, with no demarcation possible, and players who lack the notoriety to appear on a watch list but have the skills to contend for an award will be judged no less competent for not appearing on the list.
And yet, it's the middle of summer, and we're all "starved" for college football content, so these tidbits are "worth" "noting." This note will appear at the bottom of all "Florida Gators on 2014 college football award watch list" posts. Get used to it.