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Jameis Winston, Vic Beasley headline Maxwell, Bednarik Award watch lists

Jameis Winston, Vic Beasley headline Maxwell, Bednarik Award watch lists Photo:

The watch lists for next season's Maxwell Award and Bednarik Award were released on Monday, and both include include several major returning stars.

Defending Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston of Florida State headlines the list for the Maxwell Award, given to the best player in college football. Winston was a finalist for the Maxwell last year after throwing for 4,057 yards and 40 touchdowns in leading the Seminoles to a national championship. Despite creating controversy when he was cited for shoplifting in April, Winston is expected to lead Florida State into championship contention again this season.

Other big names on the Maxwell list include Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty, Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller, Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon and Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson, who's returning to the Fighting Irish this season after he was removed from the team in 2013 due to academic violations.

Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley headlines the watch list for the Bednarik Award, given to the country's best defensive player.

Beasley was a semifinalist for the honor last season when he notched 23 tackles for loss and 13 sacks, which tied for the third-highest total in the country. Other semifinalists from last season that find themselves on the watch list are Oregon cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and USC defensive end Leonard Williams.

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Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron won the Maxwell Award last season, while Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald took home the Bednarik.

The complete watch list for both awards can be found here.

—Ben Estes

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