As the college football offseason progresses and brings us closer to the 2011 season, various awards are publishing their watch lists. The lists include a variety of players who are likely to have big seasons worthy of winning various player of the year awards. The watch lists are not final list because players do sometimes come out of nowhere to emerge throughout the season. However, it provides a solid list of players to keep an eye on when the season gets going.
The Walter Camp Player of the Year Award creates one such watch list. The 2011 watch list includes 40 players from across the country, including Stanford Cardinal quarterback and Heisman Trophy favorite Andrew Luck. Luck surprised many people when he decided to pass up NFL riches and return to college for his senior season. After finishing second in the 2010 Heisman Trophy balloting, Luck is a favorite to take home the Heisman in 2011. This also means he'll be among the favorites for a host of other awards, including the Walter Camp Award, won by Cam Newton in 2010.
This year's watch list features numerous Pac-12 players including Luck, USC QB Matt Barkley, Arizona State LB Vontaze Burfict, Oregon RB LaMichael James, Washington RB Chris Polk, and Oregon QB Darron Thomas. The various matchups during the 2011 season between these various schools should make for an interesting battle in positioning for the various national awards.
The watch list will be narrowed down to ten semi-finalists in mid-November, with a winner announced on December 8 on ESPN.