Kelly highlights ASU contingent on preseason award watch lists
Jul 18, 2014 3:51p ET
Preseason award watch lists
College football's award watch list season came to an end Friday, so consider the sport's second 'silly season' over. It's certainly an honor for players to make the preseason watch lists, but the lists have become overly inclusive and typically seem an exercise in futility. But some lists do include the player who will eventually win it. Arizona State has six players across 10 lists, and here we try to find a little clarity in them.
Photo: Mark J. Rebilas / USA TODAY Sports
For: Nation's most outstanding receiver
On the watch list: Jaelen Strong
Outlook: Strong's presence on this list perhaps represents ASU's best shot at any of these awards. Strong, a projected first round pick in next year's NFL Draft, should be among the best receivers in the Pac-12 after Second Team selection last year, and a big enough season could have him in the national conversation. Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea
Davey O'Brien Award
For: Nation's best college quarterback
On the watch list: Taylor Kelly
Outlook: It's no surprise Kelly made the list, but it is hard to imagine he'll be able to beat out the likes of Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota for the award. He is considered to be in the next tier, though, so call him a dark horse candidate. Photo: Mark J. Rebilas / USA TODAY Sports
Doak Walker Award
For: Nation's premier running back
On the watch list: D.J. Foster
Outlook: Foster should have a big season as he moves into a featured back role. He openly admits to having his eyes on a Heisman Trophy, but this might be a more attainable goal for now, though Foster faces a stacked field of 53 that includes Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon and Georgia's Todd Gurley. Photo: Matt Kartozian / USA TODAY Sports
For: Nation's top collegiate placekicker
On the watch list: Zane Gonzalez
Outlook: A First Team All-Pac-12 selection last year, Gonzalez hit 25 of 30 field goals last season and was a semifinalist for this award. If he improves on his freshman season, there's no reason he couldn't at least be a finalist for this award.
For: Nation's most versatile player
On the watch list: D.J. Foster
Outlook: Foster moves into a premier back role this season and will likely see less use as a receiver but should still be a weapon in the passing game. Still, the last three winners of this award doubles as return specialists, which Foster won't, so it's hard to imagine his chances are very good. Photo: Matt Kartozian
For: Nation's most outstanding down lineman or linebacker
On the watch list: Jamil Douglas
Outlook: It's been 17 seasons since an offensive lineman won this award, and that was Orlando Pace, the only two-time winner of the award, so Douglas and all other offensive linemen are long shots to begin with. Douglas should have a nice season, but this seems unlikely.
For: Nation's most outstanding tight end
On the watch list: De'Marieya Nelson
Outlook: This award tends to skew toward the more traditional tight end, and Nelson is likely to be used in a pretty versatile role. Still, Nelson appears primed to take another step, and a strong season could get him noticed here, but the tight end field is quite deep.
For: America's College Player of the Year
On the watch list: Foster, Kelly, Strong
Outlook: All three players will be difference-makers in ASU's season, but unless one or all of them plays well enough to have ASU in the College Football Playoff picture it seems a stretch any of them would be in the mix for the Maxwell.
For: Nation's most outstanding interior lineman
On the watch list: Douglas
Outlook: Three of the last four winners of the Outland have been offensive tackles, so if Douglas takes well to a move to left tackle he might be in this conversation. He certainly has the skill set to be an impact tackle, and his strength should garner attention this year. Photo: Harry How / Getty Images North America
Walter Camp Award
For: Outstanding player of the year
On the watch list: Kelly
Outlook: Another nice honor for Kelly to be included in this field of 50, but the odds still seem long he'd be in the mix for this award, which has often been a precursor to the Heisman Trophy, unless ASU ends up in the College Football Playoff conversation. Photo: Robert Stanton / USA TODAY Sports
Hill leads trio of Wildcats on preseason award watch lists