Three University of Florida football players were named to the preseason watch lists for two national awards on Monday, the Maxwell Football Club announced.
Quarterback Jeff Driskel was named to the 77th annual Maxwell Award watch list, while defensive lineman Dominique Easley and defensive back Loucheiz Purifoy were both named to 19th annual Bednarik Award watch list.
Driskel, a junior from Oviedo, Fla., enters his second season as the starting quarterback. He passed for 1,646 yards with 12 touchdowns and five interceptions as a sophomore, while also rushing for 413 yards and four touchdowns.
Easley, a senior from Staten Island, N.Y., has played in 29 games with 23 starts in his career. He has totaled 67 tackles, 16 tackles-for-loss and 5 1/2 sacks in his three seasons in Gainesville. Last season, he led Florida with four sacks.
Purifoy, a junior from Pensacola, Fla., has made 26 appearances for the Gators with 12 starts at cornerback and one start at wide receiver. He is the team’s leading returning tackler after racking up 51 tackles last year, while also forcing three fumbles and breaking up five passes.
The Maxwell Award is given each year to the college player of the year. The Bednarik Award is presented to the nation’s top college defensive player each season.
Semifinalists for both lists will be announced on October 29, while the three finalists for each award will be released on November 25. The winners will be announced at the annual Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on December 12.