The 2015 pre-season watch list for the Maxwell Award have been released, and to no surprise, boasts all three Ohio State quarterbacks, as well as running back Ezekiel Elliott. Ohio State's four candidates are more than any other school, giving one more reason why the Buckeyes may be the team to beat this year.
Braxton Miller finds himself on the Maxwell, after missing all of last season due to a shoulder injury. In his career at Ohio State, Miller has passed for 5,292 yards, with a 59.3 completion percentage and 52 touchdowns. Miller has also rushed for 3,054 yards and 32 touchdowns over the course of his three seasons in Columbus.
J.T. Barrett had a breakout freshman season last year after coming in for the injured Miller. Barrett completed over 64 percent of his passes last season, racking up 2,834 yards and 34 touchdowns in 12 games. On the ground, Barrett ran for 938 yards, and 11 touchdowns. He also notably finished 5th in the Heisman voting last season.
Cardale Jones started just three games for the Buckeyes last year, but they were arguably the three biggest games of the season. After coming in for the injured Barrett, Jones led the Buckeyes to a convincing win over Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship game, followed by stellar performances in the Sugar Bowl, and National Championship game. In those three games, Jones threw for 742 yards and five touchdown passes.
It of course, wouldn't be a Maxwell watch list without standout running back Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott rushed for 1,878 yards last season, and 18 touchdowns. Elliott largely carried the Buckeyes to a National Championship as well in the final three games of what was an incredible season.
The Maxwell Award has been given out to America's College Player of the Year since 1937. There have been four Ohio State Buckeyes to win the award in the past, including Howard Cassady, Bob Ferguson, Archie Griffin, and Eddie George.