25 Jul

By

5 Longhorns in Final Round of National Award Watch Lists

 

Ash

David Ash has been named to the 2013 Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award Watch List This is his fourth appearance on a major watch list this offseason. It's going to take a big season to win any of these awards, but we think that Ash is up for the challenge and will have a breakout season.

The odds are certainly stacked against him, but Ash finishing in even the top five for the award would mean that he and Texas had a great season. In the end that is all that really matters.

 

MIkeDavisMike Davis has been named to the Biletnikoff Award watch list for the nation's best receiver ... that is 3 years in a row! For him to win it, he will have to do something no Longhorn has done in four years and then some.

In 2012, Davis fell just 61 yards shy of being the team's first 1,000-yard receiver since 2009, and is expected to remain David Ash's favorite target in 2013.

Putting up a 1,000 yard season is something we expect out of Davis this season, but he will have to do more than that to be the first Biletnikoff Award winner at Texas. Simply put, he will need over 1,100 yards and 10 touchdowns ... doubling his career total.

If David Ash has a big season, so will Davis.

 

 

JEFFCOATAlready appearing on the watch lists for the Nagurski Trophy and Bednarik Award is Jackson Jeffcoat, who has also been named a candidate to win this year's Rotary Lombardi Award as the nation's best lineman as well as the Walter Camp Award for the nation's best player.

Is is the prototypical combination of power and speed off the edge. All the physcial tools are there, but the dial will have to be turned up to 11 and he must stay healthy to make a run at the Lombardi Award favorite Jadeveon Clowney.

These are all feats Jeffcoat is capable of when he is fully healthy, which he is currently. Fingers crossed that it lasts, because he will be in the mix for the Lombardi Award if he is.

If he wins it, that feat alone should give him a chance at the Walter Camp Award, but even then it would be a long shot. Only three defensive players have won it in its 45-year history. IF this happens, Jeffcoat will certainly be the teams Defensive MVP (as we predicted).

 

ShipleyGrabaJoining Mike Davis on the Biletnikoff Award watch list is Jaxon Shipley, who can cement himself as a favorite for next year's award.

It is not all about speed. Shipley has the best hands and feet on the team, which allow him to make even the toughest catches look routine.

We all know that Shipley is not the deep threat that Davis is. Shipley is the Texas Longhorns' best possession receiver. While this could keep him from racking up big yards, having a guy like him on the field that can move the chains is critical.

It is not likely that he will win the award this year, but with Davis heading (presumably) to the NFL next year, a solid effort this season would line Shipley up nicely for next year's awards.

 

WaltersMaking his second appearance on the Lombardi Award watch list is Mason Walters, the team's star right guard.

Walters, who is also on the Outland Trophy Watch List, is the rock of an offensive line that could undergo major change this season. The team has brought in a new starting left tackle and every other position up front is up for grabs. Except for Walters' who will be an All-Big 12 player in leading the improved unit back from a down 2012 season.

Winning the Lombardi Award will be a tall task for Walters. In fact,  the last time an offensive lineman won it was Orlando Pace in 1995 and 1996. We all know what kind of player he turned out to be.

If Walters played left tackle this may be a different story. For now, he will have to settle for a great senior season.

 

Source: Zach Shelton/Bleacher Report

 

 

James Schleicher is the publisher of Horns Illustrated magazine. He's also a fifth generation Texan and lifelong Austinite. Follow @HornsIllus twitter to keep up with all things Horns Illustrated.