Alabama running back Najee Harris, wide receiver Jerry Jeudy and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa have been named to the 2019 Maxwell Award Watch List announced today by the Maxwell Football Club of Philadelphia.
Harris, Jeudy and Tagovailoa are among 81 players from around the country named to the preseason list. Alabama has claimed the award three times in the last six seasons. Reigning 2018 Maxwell Award winner Tagovailoa joined record-setting running back and Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry in 2015 and AJ McCarron in 2013 as the school's third Maxwell winner.
After two years of backing up future NFL draft picks, Harris steps to the forefront in a starting role at running back. He enters his junior year averaging 6.5 yards per carry across his first two seasons, including a team-high 6.7 yards per carry average in 2018. He has already eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in limited time, entering 2019 with 1,153 yards on 178 carries and has contributed seven touchdowns in his 29 career games.
Jeudy begins his third season on pace to rewrite the Alabama record books. The junior has already recorded 1,579 yards on 82 catches and scored 16 touchdowns to tie for fifth in program history for career scores. Jeudy is one year removed from earning consensus All-America honors and being named the nation’s top wideout as the winner of the Biletnikoff Award in 2018. That sophomore campaign saw the Deerfield Beach, Fla., native end with an SEC-leading 14 touchdown receptions as part of his 1,315 yards on just 68 receptions for a 19.3 yards per catch average.
Tagovailoa shattered the Alabama and SEC single-season record books as a sophomore and is set once again to contend for a bevy of honors as a junior. After winning the starting job in fall camp of 2018, the season ended with Tagovailoa taking home the Walter Camp Player of the Year and Maxwell Award to go with consensus first team All-America accolades. Also named the SEC Offensive Player of the Year, Tagovailoa passed for an Alabama single-season record 43 touchdowns and 3,966 yards while recording 4,156 yards of total offense, good for second in the league and top-10 nationally despite missing a majority of the second halves in the Tide’s 15 contests as a sophomore. His freshman season concluded with Offensive MVP honors in Alabama’s overtime victory over Georgia in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game.
The Maxwell Award has been presented annually since 1937 by the Maxwell Football Club of Philadelphia to recognize the top player in college football. The award is named in honor of former college player, official and sports columnist Robert Maxwell. The 2019 winner will be announced at the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show in December.