MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -
West Virginia University football senior running back Justin Crawford
and redshirt junior quarterback Will Grier
were named today to the watch list for the 81st annual Maxwell Award, and senior safety Kyzir White
and junior safety Dravon Askew-Henry
were named to the 23rd annual Bednarik Award Watch List, as announced by the Maxwell Football Club.
The Maxwell Award, named in honor of Robert W. "Tiny" Maxwell, has been given to America's College Player of the Year since 1937. Maxwell's contributions to the game of football were extensive, including time as a player, a sportswriter and an official. The Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995. Chuck Bednarik, former standout at Penn and with the Philadelphia Eagles, is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame's Class of '69 and the NFL Hall of Fame's Class of '67.
Crawford returns as the Big 12’s leading rusher from 2016, finishing with 1,184 yards and four touchdowns. The 2016 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and All-Big 12 Conference performer, Crawford ran for 331 yards against Oklahoma and 201 more against Baylor.
Grier transferred to West Virginia from Florida and sat out in 2016 to fulfill NCAA residency requirements. As a redshirt freshman at Florida in 2015, he played in six games, started five and led the Gators to a 6-0 record and a Top 10 ranking. He completed 106-of-161 passes for 1,204 yards and 10 touchdowns. He threw for a season-high 283 yards and two touchdowns against Tennessee.
White started all 12 games in which he played at West Virginia as a junior in 2016. An All-Big 12 Second Team honoree by ESPN.com, White finished with 58 tackles, including 48 solo stops, seven tackles for loss and two forced fumbles.
Askew-Henry started all 26 games during his first two seasons before sustaining a season-ending knee injury prior to the 2016 season. As a sophomore in 2015, he finished with 59 tackles, including 47 assisted, a tackle for loss, an interception and four pass breakups.
Semifinalists for the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced October 30, 2017, while the three finalists for each award will be unveiled November 20, 2017. The winners of the 2017 Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on December 7, 2017. The formal presentations of these awards will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Tropicana Hotel & Casino Atlantic City on March 9, 2018.