If preseason watch lists are any indication, the Georgia Bulldogs are going to produce some offensive fireworks this fall.
Both quarterback Aaron Murray and tailback Todd Gurley were included on the preseason watch list for the Maxwell Award, which goes annually to the “most outstanding player in college football.”
Murray, a senior, has passed for more than 10,000 yards and 95 touchdowns during his career. Gurley is a sophomore who rushed for 1,385 yards and scored 18 touchdowns as a freshman. They are the main producers in an offense that returns 10 starters from last year’s team that established school records for points (529) and yards (6,547) in a single season.
Georgia has had two players win the Maxwell Award. Halfback Charley Trippi won it in 1946 and tailback Herschel Walker claimed the trophy in 1982.
Traditionally, the Maxwell has gone to the country’s best offensive player. Last year Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o became the first defensive player in 32 years to win it. The previous nine recipients were quarterbacks.
In all, 76 players were included on the Maxwell’s watch list, including 16 from the SEC. Alabama had four players on the list (quarterback A.J. McCarron, tailback T.J. Yeldon, wide receiver Amari Cooper and linebacker C.J. Mosley). Texas A&M had three with quarterback Johnny Manziel, wide receiver Mike Evans and offensive tackle Jake Matthews. Mosely and South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney were among only six defensive players included.
Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd and receiver Sammy Watkins also made the list.
Time for watches: At least one watch list will be announced every day over the next two weeks.
Flanker/kick returner Malcolm Mitchell was among 44 players on the watch list for the Paul Hornung Award, which was released last week. The Hornung goes annually to an individual considered the most versatile player in college football. However, Mitchell is not expected to play defense this season. He started three games as a cornerback last season.
Georgia did not have a player included on the Bednarik Award watch list, which was also released Monday. That award goes to the top defensive player in college football.
Another baseball hire: With Monday’s announcement that Brandon May will be joining the Bulldogs as a volunteer assistant coach, new baseball coach Scott Stricklin is close to completing his staff.
May, 25, is a native of Marietta who was an All-SEC player at Alabama. He will coach first base and assist infielders. Stricklin hired Fred Corral from Memphis to be his pitching coach and brought in Scott Daeley from Kent State as hitting coach and recruiting coordinator. The Bulldogs still need a director of operations.
Etc.: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s pro basketball career got off to a rough start. Making his summer league debut in Orlando for the Detroit Pistons, who picked him eighth in last month’s draft, he was 1-of-10 shooting and finished with four points, three rebounds and four turnovers in 23 minutes in a win against the Brooklyn Nets. … Rising senior Laura Ryan finished as the top American in women’s 10-meter platform diving on Monday at the World University Games in Kazan, Russia. Ryan rolled up 292 points to finish fifth.