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Four Mountaineers named to player of the year watch lists

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — Four members of the West Virginia University football team were named to watch lists on Monday.

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.

Crawford and Grier are two of a 11 Big 12 representatives on the list.

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 Big 12 has 11 representatives on the Bednarik Award watch list, including White and Askew-Henry.

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 was the Big 12’s leading rusher from last season with 1,184 yards and four touchdowns. He ran for 331 yards against Oklahoma and 201 more against Baylor.

Grier transferred to WVU from Florida and sat out in 2016 to fulfill NCAA residency requirements. During his redshirt freshman campaign 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.

Last season White started in 12 games for the Mountaineers. He was named an All-Big 12 Second Team honoree by, 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, 2017.

Cover Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose

Shanna Rose
WVU Graduate with a bachelor's in journalism and multimedia journalist. Sports Fan and sports writer. Former WVU News reporter. Contact Shanna on Twitter @SMR1837
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