The Maxwell Award, given to the nation’s most outstanding player offense or defense, put out its preseason watch list of 85 players yesterday. Two Tide players have previously won the award: Derrick Henry in 2015 and the program’s first winner, A.J. McCarron in 2013.
This year’s Alabama preseason contenders are:
Hurts set an Alabama record last season, scoring 36 touchdowns. He threw for over 2600 yards and posted over 900 on the ground. His ceiling is practically unlimited assuming he becomes a steadier intermediate and deep ball passer. For my money, he’s also my darkhorse Heisman favorite if he develops in those areas.
The all-everything Adonis defensive back is one of the most explosive playmakers in the country. We covered Minkah yesterday when we covered him being named to the Chuck Bednarik Award preseason watch list.
Ridley had a breakout freshman year, netting 86 catches for 8 scores. Last season was “a down year,” but he still hauled in 77 receptions and 7 TDs. A lot is expected this year with a more competent passing attack in a more vertical-friendly offense. Like two others on the this list, enjoy him -- he’ll be collecting sizeable paychecks a year from now.
If Damien Harris is the steady, all-purpose workaday palfrey, Bo Scarbrough is the showy destrier: Huge, muscular, inexorable, punishing, faster than you’d think, and far more agile than his size should allow. Bo’s biggest question has always been his health. But when he’s at 100%, there’s no one you’d want more in your backfield late in a game.
Here’s your complete list of the 85 watch list players.