With the season a little under two months away, Bruce Irvin, Keith Tandy and Don Barclay were all respectively named to preseason award watch lists Friday.
Irvin and Tandy were named to the 2011 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List, which is given annually to the nation's best defensive player by the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club.
Irvin, a senior, broke onto the scene last year as a pass rushing specialist by recording 14 sacks in limited playing time. The 6-foot-3, 239-pound defensive end will become a full-time player this fall.
Tandy, also a senior, is coming off a junior season where he was named First Team all-Big East and had 57 stops and 6 interceptions. With the departure of Brandon Hogan, Tandy is expected to become the number one option at corner for the Mountaineers.
The duo are two of six representatives from the Big East Conference, which is divided evenly among lineman, linebackers and defensive backs.
Among the other Big East representatives are Brandon Lindsey, Pittsburgh, DE, Kendall Reyes, Connecticut, DT, J.K. Schaffer, Cincinnati, LB and Derek Wolfe, Cincinnati, DT.
Players may be added or deleted from the Bronko Nagurski Watch List during the season. For the 11th straight season, the FWAA will choose a National Defensive Player of the Week. If that player is not on the Watch List, he automatically will be added.
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner is chosen from five finalists who are part of the FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the entire membership, selects the 25-man team and eventually the Bronko Nagurski finalists. Committee members, then by individual ballot, select the winner, the best defensive player in America.
The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet will be on Dec. 12 at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, N.C. Besides the 2011 winner being announced, the banquet will also celebrate the recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award presented by Florida East Coast Railway. Florida's Jack Youngblood, an end from the FWAA's 1970 All-American team, will be honored. Georgia head coach Mark Richt will be the keynote speaker at the banquet
Barclay, a senior offensive tackle, was name to the 2011 Outland Trophy Watch list, which is given to the best interior lineman in college football. The award is selected by the Football Writers Association of America.
Also representing the Big East are Chris Jacobson, Pittsburgh, G, Lucas Nix, Pittsburgh, OT, Moe Petrus, Connecticut, C, Kendall Reyes, Connecticut, DT and Derek Wolfe, Cincinnati, DT.
Of the 65 players on the watch list, 16 defensive tackles occupied spots. The rest of the linemen were on offense.
The Outland Trophy, presented annually since 1946, is the third oldest award in major college football. The winner of the 66th Outland Trophy, named after the late John Outland, an All-America lineman at Penn and Kansas at the turn of the century, will be announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 8 on ESPN.
The Outland Trophy presentation banquet, sponsored by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee, will be held on Jan. 12, 2012, in Omaha, Neb.