SOUTHAMPTON, Pa. – Five members of the Texas Longhorns football team landed spots on national award watch lists.
Malcom Brown, Quandre Diggs and Cedric Reed were placed on the watch list for the 2014 Chuck Bednarik Award, which honors the top defensive player in the nation, while Malcolm Brown and Johnathan Gray secured spots on the watch list for the Maxwell Award (top player in the country).
Malcom Brown, a junior defensive tackle from Brenham, Texas, collected 68 tackles last season, starting all 13 games. He ranked tied for third on the team in pass breakups (5), third in tackles for loss (12) and third in QB pressures (6).
Diggs, a senior, is a three-year starting cornerback who has tallied 168 career tackles, 32 pass breakups and eight interceptions. Last season, the Angleton, Texas, native was an honorable mention All-Big 12 choice after posting 58 tackles and a team-high 10 pass breakups.
A senior from Cleveland, Texas, Reed is coming off his best season. He earned 2013 first team All-Big 12 honors after posting 79 tackles, including 10 sacks, and five forced fumbles. Reed ranked third in the Big 12 and tied for 18th in the FBS in sacks (0.77 per game), and tied for second in the league and tied for fifth in the nation in forced fumbles (0.38 pg).
Malcolm Brown and Gray form one of the top running back tandems in the nation.
Malcolm Brown posted a team-high 904 rushing yards in 2013, playing in all 13 games with four starts. He had a team-best nine rushing touchdowns on the season en route to first-team All-Big 12 honors. Heading into his senior season, the Cibolo, Texas, native ranks No. 18 on the UT all-time rushing yards list (1,840).
Gray, a junior, tallied 780 rushing yards last season despite missing the last four games with an Achilles injury. The Aledo, Texas, native ranks 28th on the school’s all-time rushing list (1,481) despite playing less than two full seasons.
There were 76 players on the watch list for each award.
The Maxwell Football Club will announce the Bednarik and Maxwell Awards semifinalists on Nov. 3 and three finalists for each onNov. 24. The winners will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Dec. 11.
Tommy Nobis (1963), Ricky Williams (1998), Vince Young (2005) and Colt McCoy (2009) are Texas recipients of the Maxwell Award. No Longhorn has won the Bednarik, though it has only been in existence since 1995.