It’s July, which in college football means that everyone and their mother has a preseason award watch list to give out. Because half-man/half-cyborg Stefon Diggs had such an impressive freshman year in 2012, it’s no surprise that he has been mentioned as a candidate for many of these awards. With an offseason to digest just how good Diggs actually performed last season, people are starting to expect great things from him next year.
It’s why Diggs has found himself on yet another watch list. This time it’s the Maxwell Award, which has been given to the nation’s top college player since 1937. Diggs finds himself on a watch list with 75 other gridiron juggernauts, including Johnny Manziel, Tahj Boyd, JaDaeveon Clowney, and Duke Johnson (to name just a few). Altogether, that is some incredibly stiff competition to be going against already, but the list doesn’t stop there.
In terms of prestige, the Maxwell Award is just a step below the Heisman, though it’s just as storied. The award is named after the legendary Robert “Tiny” Maxwell, whose bloodied face in a photo after a 1905 football game (where 19 players actually died on the field that season) resulted in a number of rule changes, including ten yard first downs, forward passes, and a neutral zone. Back then, the players actually did eat nails for breakfast, I guess. Anyway, since 1937, the award has been given out, and this year will be no different.
Stefon Diggs has an uphill battle to get his name past the players on the watch list, including staving off newcomers who haven’t received all the preseason hype. He is going to have to stay healthy, and he’s going to have to perform week in and week out (which he did last year). Every nationally televised game will have big implications for Maryland, but even bigger ones for Diggs to perform.
That he’s on the watch list is a start, but the onus on him is to surpass everyone else. That’s a lot to ask out of a sophomore, but at the same time, if anyone is going to handle it well, it’s the guy who doesn’t even need a quarterback to be great.
Check out the rest of the list here.