Clemson, S.C.—Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson and tight end Jordan Leggett were both announced as finalists for major college football awards on Tuesday. Watson has been named a finalist for the Maxwell Award and the Davey O’Brien Award, while Leggett was named a finalist for the John Mackey Award.
Last week, Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson was named a finalist for the Nagurski Award and the Lombardi Award.
The Maxwell Award is presented each year to the Most Outstanding Player in the nation and the Davey O’Brien Award is presented to the top quarterback. The Mackey Award goes to the top tight end. The Nagurski Award is presented to the top defensive player in the nation and the Lombardi Award goes to the top lineman or linebacker.
Watson is the only quarterback among the Maxwell Award finalists. The other finalists are Alabama running back Derrick Henry and Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey. The other finalists for the O’Brien Award are Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma and Trevone Boykin of TCU.
Watson is the first Clemson player to be a finalist for both awards.
Watson has led Clemson to a No. 1 ranking and an 11-0 record so far this year. It is the first time Clemson has won its first 11 games since 1981, the year Clemson won the National Championship.
The sophomore from Gainesville, Ga. has completed 241 of 344 passes for 2,944 yards and 26 touchdowns. He has completed 70.1 percent of his passes, third best in the nation. He has added 642 yards on the ground in 118 carries and has scored six touchdowns.
Watson is the only quarterback in the nation to rush for 600 yards and pass for 2,900 yards this season.
Watson is eighth in the nation in passing efficiency with a 161.07 rate. Four times he has been the ACC Offensive Back of the Week, the most selections by any Clemson offensive player in school history. He has been named to the Manning Award Honor roll four of the last five weeks.
Leggett is joined on the list of Mackey finalists by Hunter Henry of Arkansas and Austin Hooper of Stanford. The junior has caught 27 passes for 345 yards and a team best six touchdowns this year. He had at least one touchdown reception in five straight games at one point, a Clemson record for a tight end.
Leggett had two touchdown receptions among his four receptions for 56 yards in the win over Georgia Tech. He tied a school record for touchdown catches in a game by a Clemson tight end.
In the win over Florida State, the junior from Navarre, Fla. had six catches for 101 yards and became just the fourth Clemson tight end in history to have at least 100 receiving yards in a single game.
Lawson is second in the nation in tackles for loss with 19 and is big reason Clemson is fifth in the nation in total defense. He has 66 tackles for the season and 7.5 sacks.
January 31, 2023
January 30, 2023