The Walter Camp Football Foundation has announced the names of forty “players to watch” for its 2016 Player of the Year award, the nation’s fourth-oldest individual college football accolade.
Oklahoma senior quarterback Baker Mayfield, a First Team Walter Camp All-American in 2015, along with Clemson junior quarterback Deshaun Watson, a Second Team Walter Camp All-America selection a year ago, headline the 2016 Watch List. Mayfield accounted for 3,700 passing yards and 36 touchdowns for the Sooners, while Watson passed for 4,104 yards and 35 touchdowns for the Tigers.
Twelve players on the 2016 watch list, including 2015 First Teamers Leonard Fournette (LSU, running back) and Myles Garrett (Texas A&M, defensive end), have previously earned Walter Camp All-America honors.
In all, 31 schools and 11 conferences (including independents) are represented on the list with national runner-up Clemson having three players. There are offensive players (15 quarterbacks, 11 running backs and four receivers) and 10 from the defensive side of the ball (5 linebackers, 5 defensive backs and 1 defensive end).
“We are proud to continue the great work of Walter Camp and recognize the best college football players in the nation,” Foundation president Robert Kauffman said. “This watch list is a great start to what is shaping up to be another exciting year of college football.”
The watch list will be narrowed to 10 semi-finalists in mid-November. The 2016 Walter Camp Player of the Year recipient, which is voted on by the 128 NCAA Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors, will be announced live on ESPN SportsCenter on Thursday, December 8. The winner will then receive his trophy at the Foundation’s 50th annual national awards banquet on January 14, 2017 at the Yale University Commons in New Haven.
Please note: Appearing on the preseason Watch List is not a requirement for a player to win the Walter Camp award or be named to the All-America team.
Walter Camp, “The Father of American football,” first selected an All-America team in 1889. Camp – a former Yale University athlete and football coach – is also credited with developing play from scrimmage, set plays, the numerical assessment of goals and tries and the restriction of play to eleven men per side. The Walter Camp Football Foundation (www.waltercamp.org; @WalterCampFF) – a New Haven-based all-volunteer group – was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and to continue the tradition of selecting annually an All-America team.
The Walter Camp Foundation is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 22 awards boast over 700 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit www.NCFAA.org to learn more about our story. The members of the NCFAA unveiled their preseason watch lists over a 12-day period this month. Sixteen of the association’s 22 awards selected a preseason watch list and the NCFAA has spearheaded a coordinated effort to promote each award’s preseason candidates.
2016 Walter Camp Player of the Year Preseason Watch List
J.T. Barrett, Junior, QB, Ohio State
C.J. Beathard, Senior, QB, Iowa
Josh Dobbs, Senior, QB, Tennessee
Luke Falk, Junior, QB, Washington State
Chad Kelly, Senior, QB, Ole Miss
DeShone Kizer, Junior, QB, Notre Dame
Tanner Mangum, Sophomore, QB, BYU
Baker Mayfield, Senior, QB, Oklahoma #
Nick Mullens, Senior, QB, Southern Miss
Josh Rosen, Sophomore, QB, UCLA
Seth Russell, Senior, QB, Baylor
Brett Rypien, Sophomore, QB, Boise State
Anu Solomon, RS Junior, QB, Arizona
Greg Ward, Senior, QB, Houston
Deshaun Watson, Junior, QB, Clemson *
Nick Chubb, Junior, RB, Georgia
Dalvin Cook, Junior, RB, Florida State *
Leonard Fournette, Junior, RB, LSU #
Royce Freeman, Junior, RB, Oregon
Wayne Gallman, Junior, RB, Clemson
Justin Jackson, Junior, RB, Northwestern
Marlon Mack, Junior, RB, South Florida
Christian McCaffrey, Junior, RB/KR, Stanford *
Samaje Perine, Junior, RB, Oklahoma
Donnel Pumphrey, Senior, RB, San Diego State
Larry Rose, Junior, RB, New Mexico State
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Corey Davis, Senior, WR, Western Michigan
Christian Kirk, Sophomore, WR, Texas A&M
Jordan Leggett, TE, Senior, Clemson *
JuJu Smith-Schuster, Junior, WR, USC
Myles Garrett, Junior, DE, Texas A&M #
Eddie Jackson, Junior, DB, Alabama *
Derwin James, Sophomore, DB, Florida State
Malik Jefferson, Sopohomore, LB, Texas
Desmond King, Senior, DB, Iowa #
Jourdan Lewis, Senior, DB, Michigan *
Shawun Lurry, Junior, DB, Northern Illinois *
Raekwon McMillan, Junior, LB, Ohio State *
Jabrill Peppers, Sophomore, LB, Michigan
Anthony Walker, Junior, LB, Northwestern
# – 2015 Walter Camp First Team All-America selection
*- 2015 Walter Camp Second Team All-America selection