New Haven, Conn. – West Virginia University senior wide receiver Tavon Austin
and senior quarterback Geno Smith
are two of 50 players from across the nation named to the Player of the Year Watch List by the Walter Camp Football Foundation.
The Walter Camp Football Foundation's Player of the Year Award is the nation’s fourth-oldest individual college football accolade.
LSU junior defensive back/punt returner Tyrann Mathieu, a finalist for the 2011 Walter Camp Player of the Year award, headlines the 2012 watch list. Mathieu posted 76 tackles, two interceptions and ran back two punts for touchdowns last season for the SEC-champion Tigers.
Eleven players on the 2012 watch list, including Wisconsin senior running back Montee Ball (1,923 yards and 33 touchdowns in 2011), have previously earned Walter Camp All-America honors. In all, 37 schools are represented on the list with Kansas State, Oklahoma and USC each having three players.
The 2011 Walter Camp Player of the Year recipient was former Stanford and current Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.
“We are proud to continue the great work of Walter Camp and recognize the best college football players in the nation,” Foundation president John Marks said. “This watch list is a great start to what is shaping up to be another exciting year of college football.”
The watch list will be narrowed to 10 semifinalists in mid-November. The 2012 Walter Camp Player of the Year recipient, which is voted on by the 124 NCAA Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors, will be announced live on ESPN SportsCenter on Thursday, December 6. The winner will then receive his trophy at the Foundation’s annual national awards banquet on January 12, 2013 at the Yale University Commons in New Haven.
Please note: Appearing on the Watch List is not a requirement for a player to win the Walter Camp award or be named to the All-American team.
Walter Camp, “The Father of American football,” first selected an All-America team in 1889. Camp – a former Yale University athlete and football coach – is also credited with developing play from scrimmage, set plays, the numerical assessment of goals and tries and the restriction of play to eleven men per side. The Walter Camp Football Foundation (www.waltercamp.org) – a New Haven-based all-volunteer group – was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and to continue the tradition of selecting annually an All-America team.
A complete Walter Camp Football Foundation Player of the Year Preseason Watch List can be accessed HERE