2012 major awards watch lists

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The Walter Camp Football Foundation has announced the names of fifty players to watch for its 2012 Player of the Year award, 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 Southern California 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 Dec. 6. The winner will then receive his trophy at the Foundation’s annual national awards banquet on Jan. 12, 2013 at the Yale University Commons in New Haven.

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 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.

Player Year Position School
Keenan Allen Junior WR California
David Amerson Junior DB North Carolina State
Ryan Aplin Senior QB Arkansas State
Tavon Austin Senior WR West Virginia
Montee Ball Senior RB Wisconsin
Matt Barkley Senior QB Southern California
Tajh Boyd Junior QB Clemson
Tyler Bray Junior QB Tennessee
Arthur Brown Senior LB Kansas State
Rex Burkhead Senior RB Nebraska
Alex Carder Senior QB Western Michigan
Jadeveon Clowney Sophomore DE South Carolina
Knile Davis Junior RB Arkansas
Seth Doerge Senior QB Texas Tech
Tyler Eifert Senior TE Notre Dame
Shariff Floyd Junior DT Florida
James Franklin Junior QB Missouri
William Gholston Junior DE Michigan State
Ray Graham Senior RB Pittsburgh
Tony Jefferson Junior DB Oklahoma
Brandon Jenkins Senior DE Florida State
Barrett Jones Senior C Alabama
Jarvis Jones Junior LB Georgia
Landry Jones Senior QB Oklahoma
Marcus Lattimore Junior RB South Carolina
Zach Line Senior RB SMU
Tyler Lockett Sophomore WR/KR Kansas State
Nigel Malone Senior DB Kansas State
Tyrann Mathieu Junior DB LSU
AJ McCarron Junior QB Alabama
T.J. McDonald Senior DB Southern California
Aaron Murray Junior QB Georgia
Alex Okafor Senior DE Texas
Branden Oliver Junior RB Buffalo
Joseph Randle Junior RB Oklahoma State
Silas Redd Junior RB Penn State
Denard Robinson Senior QB Michigan
Robbie Rouse Senior RB Fresno State
Charles Sims Junior RB Houston
Geno Smith Senior QB West Virginia
Kenny Stills Junior WR Oklahoma
Manti Te’o Senior LB Notre Dame
Chase Thomas Senior LB Stanford
De’Anthony Thomas Sophomore WR Oregon
Logan Thomas Junior QB Virginia Tech
Joe Vellano Senior DL Maryland
Sammy Watkins Sophomore WR/KR Clemson
John White Senior RB Utah
Tyler Wilson Senior QB Arkansas
Robert Woods Junior WR Southern California