The Walter Camp Football Foundation has announced the names of 40 “players to watch” for its 2016 Player of the Year award, the nation’s fourth-oldest individual college football accolade.

Oklahoma senior quarterback Baker Mayfield, a First Team Walter Camp All-American in 2015, along with Clemson junior quarterback Deshaun Watson, a Second Team Walter Camp All-America selection a year ago, headline the 2016 Watch List.  Mayfield accounted for 3,700 passing yards and 36 touchdowns for the Sooners, while Watson passed for 4,104 yards and 35 touchdowns for the Tigers.

Twelve players on the 2016 watch list, including 2015 First Teamers Leonard Fournette (LSU, running back) and Myles Garrett (Texas A&M, defensive end), have previously earned Walter Camp All-America honors.

MORE: Check here for full preseason watch lists

In all, 31 schools and 11 conferences (including independents) are represented on the list with national runner-up Clemson having three players.  There are offensive players (15 quarterbacks, 11 running backs and four receivers) and 10 from the defensive side of the ball (5 linebackers, 5 defensive backs and 1 defensive end).

“We are proud to continue the great work of Walter Camp and recognize the best college football players in the nation,” Foundation president Robert Kauffman 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 2016 Walter Camp Player of the Year recipient, which is voted on by the 128 NCAA Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors, will be announced live on ESPN SportsCenter on Thursday, Dec. 8.  The winner will then receive his trophy at the Foundation’s 50th annual national awards banquet on January 14, 2017 at the Yale University Commons in New Haven.

Please note: Appearing on the preseason Watch List is not a requirement for a player to win the Walter Camp award or be named to the All-America team.

Player School
J.T. Barrett Ohio State
C.J. Beathard Iowa
Nick Chubb Georgia
Dalvin Cook Florida State
Corey Davis Western Michigan
Josh Dobbs Tennessee
Luke Falk Washington State
Leonard Fournette LSU
Royce Freeman Oregon
Wayne Gallman Clemson
Myles Garrett Texas A&M
Eddie Jackson Alabama
Justin Jackson Northwestern
Derwin James Florida State
Malik Jefferson Texas
Chad Kelly Ole Miss
Desmond King Iowa
Christian Kirk Texas A&M
DeShone Kizer Notre Dame
Jordan Leggett Clemson
Jourdan Lewis Michigan
Shawun Lurry Northern Illinois
Marlon Mack USF
Tanner Mangum BYU
Baker Mayfield Oklahoma
Christian McCaffrey Stanford
Raekwon McMillan Ohio State
Nick Mullens Southern Miss
Jabrill Peppers Michigan
Samaje Perine Oklahoma
Donnel Pumphrey San Diego State
Larry Rose New Mexico State
Josh Rosen UCLA
Seth Russell Baylor
Brett Rypien Boise State
JuJu Smith-Schuster USC
Anu Solomon Arizona
Anthony Walker Northwestern
Greg Ward Houston
Deshaun Watson Clemson

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; @WalterCampFF) – 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.