The college football season is almost here and with it comes the release of awards watch lists. As it happens, the Boise State Broncos have several players featured on these lists.
Starting at the top is junior running back, Jay Ajayi. Ajayi was arguably the most prolific player for the Broncos last season. He ran for a staggering 1,425 yards and had a whopping 18 touchdowns. His performance was noted: Ajayi has been placed on the Maxwell Award list, which is given to college football’s best player, as well as the Doak Walker Award list, which is given to the nation’s top running back.
Next is senior quarterback, Grant Hedrick. Hedrick took over for injured teammate Joe Southwick last season and held onto the starting job for the duration of the season. He passed for 1,825 yards and had 16 touchdowns with only five interceptions. He has been placed on the Davey O’Brien Award list, which is given annually to the top quarterback in the country.
Senior wide receiver Matt Miller was named to the Fred Biletnikoff Award list, which is given each year to the country’s top wide receiver. Miller had 88 receptions for 1,140 yards and 12 touchdowns for the Broncos last year.
Junior wide receiver and return specialist Shane Williams-Rhodes was named to the Paul Hornung Award list, which is given to college football’s most versatile player. Williams-Rhodes led the Mountain West in punt returns last season and also hauled in 77 balls for 702 yards and six touchdowns.
On the defensive side of the ball, junior cornerback Donte Deayon and senior safety Jeremy Ioane were both named to the Jim Thorpe Award list, which is given each year to college football’s best defensive back. Both Ioane and Deayon were second-team all-Mountain West players for the Broncos last season.
Finally, senior kicker Dan Goodale has been named to the Lou Groza Award list, which is given every year to the nation’s top kicker. Goodale led the Mountain West in field goal percentage last season, going 17 of 19.