June 13, 2006
Three California football players have been named to preseason watch lists generated by the Maxwell Football Club, club president Ron Jaworski announced Tuesday. Junior running back Marshawn Lynch has been named to the 2006 Watch List for the 70th Maxwell Award for Collegiate Player of the Year, and seniors Brandon Mebane (DT) and Daymeion Hughes (CB) have been named to the 2006 Check Bednarik Award. The Bednarik Award is given annually to the Collegiate Defensive Player of the Year.
Lynch, a native of Oakland, Calif., has been named by Sports Illustrated's SI.com as the eighth best player in America. The 5-11, 223-pound runner is coming off the third-best rushing season in Cal history with 1,246 yards. Lynch's talent has also been recognized by The Sporting News, which named him a preseason All-American as well as the nation's second-best running back.
Mebane has been tabbed as a preseason first-team All-America by The Sporting News and Athlon magazines. The Los Angeles native is currently ranked as the second best defensive lineman in the country by The Sporting News. Mebane, a 6-3, 306-pound lineman, earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors in 2005 after leading the Bears with seven quarterback sacks.
Hughes is another returning first-team all-conference selection for the Cal defense. A Los Angeles native, Hughes is a Playboy Magazine preseason All-America. The 6-2, 188-pound defensive back led the Pac-10 Conference with 17 passes defended in 2005, including 12 break-ups and five interceptions.
Twelve semi-finalists for each award will be announced in October, and the field will be trimmed to three finalists in November. The winners of the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced at the Home Depot College Football Awards Show that will be telecast on ESPN in December. The formal presentation of the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will take place at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Banquet in March 2007.