QB Skyler Howard is one of 90 players added to the Maxwell Award watch list for College Football’s Player of the Year.
Center Tyler Orlosky has been included in the 70 interior linemen named the to the watch list for the Outland Trophy and is one of 57 centers named to the Rimington Trophy watch list.
DE Nobel Nwachukwu is also on the Maxwell Award watch list along with Howard. Nwachukwu is also included in the 90 member Bednarik Award watch list for the College Football Defensive Player of the Year.
FG Kicker Josh Lambert a finalist in 2014 for the Lou Groza Award as College Football’s top Kicker is once again among 30 players on the 2016 watch list.
The WV Gazette-Mail reported that Lambert has been suspended for the first 3 games of the regular season by the Big 12 for use of a banned substance.
Many sports analysts predict Lambert will set another field goal record this season. The number of field goal attempts Lambert will get in 2016 will be determined by how efficient WVU is in the red-zone. He will also be handicapped by missing the first three games.
According to ESPN, QB Skyler Howard had the worst red-zone efficiency of all college QBs last season with a 25.2 red-zone QBR. That could boost Lambert’s chances of an award although it hurts Howard’s unless he is much improved.
Right now it appears Orlosky and Nwachukwu have the best chance of receiving national recognition for the 2016 season. While it would wipe out Lambert’s chances, if Howard somehow improved enough to win the Maxwell Award it would have to mean WVU at least won the Big 12 and made the playoffs.
During the preseason Lambert, Nwachukwu, and Orlosky appear to be the Mountaineers most likely to play at the next level in 2017. A handful of others have the potential to change that with a breakout season including NT Darrien Howard and RB Rushel Shell.
I wish all Mountaineer players the Best of Luck in the 2016 Season!