14 players were added to the Maxwell Award watch list, and one of those players is redshirt freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota, who is one of the two recent freshman additions. The other is another Pac-12 quarterback in UCLA’s Brett Hundley.
Baylor’s Nick Florence, Texas Tech’s Seth Doege, Texas’s David Ash, and Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez are big-name QBs also added to the watch list. Kolton Browning of Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana Tech’s Colby Cameron, and Northern Illinois’s Jordan Lynch were also added.
At the running back position, top SEC back Mike Gillislee from the Florida Gators was a no-brainer, and LSU’s Kenny Hilliard was the other SEC RB added to the now 78-man list. Chris Thompson (FSU), Stefphon Jefferson (Nevada), and Jawan Jamison (Rutgers) round out the 14 new additions.
Mariota has quickly established himself as one of the most accurate passers in the conference with the third-highest completion percentage at a 69.6% clip. He is second to only Matt Barkley with ten touchdown passes, and both Hundley and Mariota are tied for second in the conference with 8.3 passing yards per attempt (Mariota is second in adjusted yards per attempt with 9.3). Thrown in just two interceptions and the second highest passer efficiency rating (Hundley is third), and you get a true freshman who clearly deserves to be on the watch list.
Mariota has the 16th highest efficiency rating in the nation, but those numbers have been compiled against subpar competition. He struggled in the Pac-12 opener against a subpar Arizona defense, but Mariota will bounce back and has good raw ability to go with his accuracy. He still managed to average 7.5 yards per attempt against the Wildcats, and he is second in efficiency rating in one of the top conferences in college football. Even against weaker competition, that’s a great spot to be in.
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