Watching the watch lists [Updated]

AddThis

Senior safety Kenny Vaccaro is on a number of preseason watch lists.
Senior safety Kenny Vaccaro is on a number of preseason watch lists.

It's fun, really, to see every player from every team be named to the watch list for every award. While only one can win at the end of the year, that doesn't mean 100-something hopefulls can't live a pipe-dream in July.


Rounding up the Longhorns on the watch lists, with their projected chances at winning:


College Football Performance Awards:


Defensive: Alex Okafor, Jackson Jeffcoat, Carrington Byndom

 

Special Teams: D.J. Monroe, Quandre Diggs

 

Tight End: D.J. Grant


Because a Texas football player has won a national CFPA award each of the last three seasons, there's a decent chance one of the above could win this award. My best guess would be Okafor as the Defensive Lineman Trophy winner, at 30 percent.


Okafor might be as talented a best defensive end as there is in the nation, but there are a bunch of really good ones, which means he'll have to do more than his seven sacks last season.


Maxwell Award: Nation's Outstanding College Football Player:


Malcolm Brown - 1 percent


This is just one step down from the Heisman and considering it has most recently gone to Andrew Luck, Cameron Newton, Colt McCoy, Tim Tebow, Tebow again, Brady Quinn, Vince Young, Jason White and Eli Manning -- yep, nine straight quarterbacks -- there's an incredibly slim chance that it goes to a running back, especially one who will be splitting carries. Sorry, Malcolm, that's not a knock on you, just the nature of the award and an estimation of your coming season. If a running back were to win it, it'd be Wisconsin's Montee Ball, but this will go to a quarterback.

 

Bednarik Award: Nation's Top Defensive Player:


Alex Okafor - 30 percent


Jackson Jeffcoat - 5 percent


Kenny Vaccaro - 20 percent


Because there are more than 60 players named to this watch list, it's hard to give even a 30 percent chance for one guy to win it. But Texas' defense, which should finish in the top-5, will get Okafor some recognition. Vaccaro is among the best defensive backs, but he's not as nationally-known as LSU's Tyrann Mathieu or USC's T.J. McDonald.


Bronco Nagurski Award: Nation's Best Defensive Player:


Alex Okafor - 30 percent


Jackson Jeffcoat - 5 percent


Kenny Vaccaro - 20 percent


Carrington Byndom - 5 percent


(This is essentially the same award as the Bednarik, with a different name, so the percentages remain constant.)


Outland Trophy: Nationa's Best Interior Lineman:


Mason Walters - 5 percent


With a ground game that should rank in the top-15, Walters is finally due for some national acclaim. But giving him a five-percent chance is almost generous -- last year's winner, Alabama's Barrett Jones, stands in the way, and defensive tackles can win this award, too.


Jim Thorpe Award: Nation's best defensive back:

Vaccaro - 25 percent

 

This is one of the reasons Kenny Vaccaro decided to turn down first-round money and return for his senior season.

 

"I wanna win the Thorpe, that's it," he said after Texas beat Cal in the Holiday Bowl.

 

Two Longhorns -- Michael Huff and Aaron Ross -- have won the Thorpe, which has been won by eight straight first-round draftees. Because Vaccaro projects in the same group, he has pretty favorable odds in this. But he'll have to beat out ultra-popular Mathieu.