They may not hand out trophies in the preseason, but that doesn’t mean that being added to one of the preseason award watch lists isn’t an honor. And going into the 2016 season, you’ll find no shortage of Pitt players under consideration for the NCAA’s most prestigious awards.
Jordan Whitehead is the latest Panther to be chosen, this time as a preseason contender for the Paul Hornung Award, given annually to the nation’s most versatile player. Whitehead, last year’s ACC rookie of the year finished his freshman campaign with 109 tackles, a true freshman record. While he starred on the defensive side, Whitehead showed his versatility on offense by contributing 122 yards on the ground on only 12 carries. Additionally, Whitehead has been named to the watch lists for the Chuck Bednarik, Bronco Nagurski and Jim Thorpe awards.
On Thursday, James Conner was named to the watch list for the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation’s top running back. Conner was a semifinalist for the award in 2014, and a preseason nominee in 2014. Conner was also named as a preseason nominee for the Maxwell Award, as well as the Wuerffel Trophy.
So far this year, nine different panther players have received thirteen total nominations for eight separate awards.
|RB||James Conner||Maxwell Award (Best offensive player), Doak Walker Award (Top running back), Wuerffel Trophy (Community service)|
|S/RB||Jordan Whitehead||Chuck Bednarik Award (Best defensive player), Bronco Nagurski Award (Best defensive player), Paul Hornung (Most versatile player)|
|OL||Adam Bisnowaty||Outland Trophy (Best interior lineman), Wuerffel Trophy (Community service)|
|DE||Ejuan Price||Chuck Bednarik Award (Best defensive player)|
|C||Alex Officer||Rimington Award (Best center)|
|P||Ryan Winslow||Ray Guy (Best punter)|
|OL||Dorian Johnson||Outland Trophy (Best interior lineman)|
|LB||Mike Caprara||Wuerffel Trophy (Community service)|