In News, Press Release


The 2018 Maxwell and Bednarik Award Semifinalists

Maxwell Football Club President, Mark Dianno, announced the 2018 semifinalists for the 82nd Maxwell Award for the Collegiate Player of the Year and the 24th Chuck Bednarik Award for the Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year. The respective lists include a field of 20 candidates for the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards as selected by the Maxwell Football Club National Selection Committee. The Maxwell Football Club has once again teamed with Pro Football Focus (PFF) and Phil Steele Publications as selection committee partners. PFF provides detailed statistical and performance based assessments to selection committee staff, and several senior PFF analysts have been added to our committee and have participated in the selection process. Phil Steele’s Football Guide is generally recognized as the most complete football reference in the country.

A strong field of Maxwell Award semifinalists includes a representative from every Power Five conference as well as four student-athletes from Group of Five schools. Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor and UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton are returners from last year’s semifinalist list.

On the defensive side of the ball, the field of contenders is comprised of fresh faces, most of whom are making their debuts as Bednarik Award semifinalists. Houston’s Ed Oliver and Mississippi State’s Jeffery Simmons are the lone holdovers from last year’s Bednarik semifinalist list. Six different conferences are represented, led by nine student-athletes from the SEC and four from the ACC. Last season, the Maxwell Award was presented to Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield and the Bednarik Award went to Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick. Mayfield was the first pick in the 2018 NFL draft and is currently with the Cleveland Browns, while Fitzpatrick, also a top ten draft choice, is a starter in the Miami Dolphins secondary.

2018 Maxwell Award Semifinalists:

Tagovailoa Tua QB Alabama
Dillon AJ RB Boston College
Etienne Travis RB Clemson
Shenault Laviska WR Colorado
McMaryion Marcus QB Fresno State
King D’Eriq QB Houston
Snell Benny RB Kentucky
Henderson Darrell RB Memphis
Higdon Karan RB Michigan
Book Ian QB Notre Dame
Haskins Dwayne QB Ohio State
Murray Kyler QB Oklahoma
Herbert Justin QB Oregon
McSorley Trace QB Penn State
Moore Rondale WR Purdue
Milton McKenzie QB UCF
Moss Zack RB Utah
Minshew Gardner QB Washington State
Grier Will QB West Virginia
Taylor Jonathan RB Wisconsin

2018 Chuck Bednarik Award Semifinalists:

Williams Quinnen DT Alabama
Thompson Deionte S Alabama
Allen Zach DE Boston College
Ferrell Clelin DE Clemson
Wilkins Christian DT Clemson
Polite Jachai DE Florida
Burns Brian DE Florida State
Baker Deandre CB Georgia
Oliver Ed DT Houston
Allen Josh LB Kentucky
Ferguson Jaylon DE Louisiana Tech
Delpit Grant S LSU
White Devin LB LSU
Winovich Chase DE Michigan
Sweat Montez LB Mississippi State
Simmons Jeffery NG Mississippi State
Tillery Jerry NG Notre Dame
Jones Dre’nont DT Ohio State
Murphy Byron CB Washington
Burr-Kirven Ben LB Washington

Semifinalist voting for both of the collegiate awards presented by the Maxwell Football Club will begin on Wednesday Oct. 31 and will close on Nov. 18. Three finalists for each award will be announced on Nov. 19 and a second round of voting will take place at that time. Eligible voters include Maxwell Football Club members, NCAA head football coaches, sports information directors and selected national media. All semifinalists are listed in alphabetical order by school with the player’s school, position and class designated.

The winners of the 82nd Maxwell Award and the 24th Chuck Bednarik Award will be announced as part of the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show presented by Gildan which will be broadcast live on ESPN on Dec. 6, 2018. The formal presentation of these awards will be made at the Maxwell Football Club’s Awards Dinner on Friday, March 8, 2019 at the Tropicana Casino & Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Questions regarding the Maxwell and Bednarik semifinalist lists can be directed to:

Mr. Mark Wolpert (MFC Executive Director) at,

or to

Mr. Richard Cirminiello (Director of Collegiate Awards) at

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