Aug. 14, 2009

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame junior tandem of Golden Tate and Jimmy Clausen are two of 55 players on the “Watch List” for the 2009 Maxwell Award, which is presented to the Outstanding Player in College Football, Maxwell Football Club President Ron Jaworski announced today.

Tate (Hendersonville, Tenn./Hendersonville) blossomed into Notre Dame’s top playmaker in 2008. One of the most electrifying wide receivers in recent Irish memory, Tate has caught 64 passes for 1,211 yards (18.9 average) and 11 touchdowns, tops on Notre Dame over the past two seasons. He already ranks 10th all-time in career touchdown receptions. Tate has also eclipsed 100 receiving yards in six games during his career, tied for fifth-most in school history. He has registered 22 receptions of at least 20 yards and 17 catches have gained at least 30 yards over the last two years. Tate, who has averaged 20.7 yards on 41 kickoff returns, ranks eighth in career kickoff returns and ninth in career kickoff return yardage. He has also tallied 2,215 career all-purpose yards.

In 2008, Tate played in all 13 games for the Irish and started eight contests. He led the Irish in all-purpose yards (1,754), receptions (58), receiving yards (1,080), receiving touchdowns (10) and total touchdowns (11). Tate’s 1,754 all-purpose yards ranked third in Notre Dame single-season history, his 58 catches tied him for seventh-most and his 1,080 receiving yards were the fifth-most. Tate posted five games with at least 100 receiving yards – tied for third-most in a season. He registered 18 catches of at least 20 yards and 15 receptions of at least 30 yards. Tate’s 10 touchdown catches were the sixth-most in a single season.

Tate capped off his sophomore campaign in style with a stellar effort in the 49-21 rout of Hawai’i in the 2008 Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl. The wide receiver totaled 203 all-purpose yards (177 receiving, 17 kick return and nine punt return) and three touchdowns. Tate’s 177 receiving yards and three touchdowns were not only career-bests, but also set school bowl game records. One of Tate’s touchdowns went for a career-best 69 yards, which was the longest play from scrimmage in 2008.

Clausen (Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian) has started 22 of the 23 games he has played over his Irish career. He already ranks among the top 10 all-time in the following career passing categories: second in passing yards per game (192.4), second in completion percentage (59.3), fourth in completions (406), fifth in attempts (685), fifth in TD passes (32) and sixth in passing yards (4,426).

As a sophomore in 2008, Clausen started all 13 games at quarterback and recorded the third-most prolific passing season in Irish history. He completed 268 of his 440 pass attempts (60.9 pct) for 3,172 passing yards (244.0 yards per game). Clausen tossed 25 touchdowns and established records in every major passing category by a Notre Dame sophomore quarterback. The only better statistical seasons by an Irish signal caller were Brady Quinn in 2005 and 2006. Clausen ranked 43rd in passing efficiency nationally at 132.49 and ranked 40th in total offense at 238.38 yards per game.

Clausen closed last season with his best performance in a Notre Dame uniform. He completed 22 of 26 passes for 401 yards and five TDs without an interception against Hawai’i in the Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl. Clausen set individual career bests in completion percentage (84.6 percent), passing yards (401) and TD passes (five). His statistics also helped set Notre Dame team bowl records in points (49), passing yards (413), passing touchdowns (five) and total yards (478). Clausen’s passing yards, passing touchdowns and completion percentage were also Notre Dame individual bowl records. In fact, his completion percentage was the second best by any quarterback at any school in bowl game history.

The Maxwell Award has been presented to the outstanding collegiate football player in America since 1937 and is named in honor of Robert W. “Tiny” Maxwell. The Maxwell Football Club, founded in 1935, is based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is the oldest football club in the United States.

Semifinalists for the Maxwell Award will be announced on November 4th and three finalists for each award will be announced November 23rd. The winner of the 2009 Maxwell Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show, which will be held on December 10, 2009. The formal presentation of these awards will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Harrah’s Entertainment Atlantic City on March 5, 2010.

2009 Maxwell Award Watch List:

Dezmon Briscoe, Kansas, WR, Jr.
Chris Brown, Oklahoma, RB, Sr.
Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State, WR, Jr.
Daryll Clark, Penn State, QB, Sr.
Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame, QB, Jr.
John Clay, Wisconsin, RB, So.
Eric Decker, Minnesota, WR, Sr.
Noel Devine, West Virginia, RB, Jr.
Jonathan Dwyer, Georgia Tech, RB, Jr.
Darren Evans, Virginia Tech, RB, So.
Damion Fletcher, Southern Miss, RB, Sr.
Toby Gerhart, Stanford, RB, Sr.
Mardy Gilyard, Cincinnati, WR, Sr.
A.J. Green, A.J., WR, So.
Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma, TE, Sr.
Robert Griffin, Baylor, QB, So.
Rob Gronkowski, Arizona, TE, Jr.
Matt Grothe, South Florida, QB, Sr.
Max Hall, BYU, QB, Sr.
Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma State, RB, Jr.
Julio Jones, Alabama, WR, So.
Colin Kaepernick, Nevada, QB, Jr.
Case Keenum, Houston, QB, Jr.
Brandon LaFell, LSU, WR, Sr.
Dan LeFevour, Central Michigan, QB, Sr.
Jake Locker, Washington, QB, Jr.
Ryan Mallett, Arkansas, QB, So.
Jeremiah Masoli, Oregon , QB, Jr.
Colt McCoy, Texas, QB, Sr.
Brandon Minor, Michigan, RB, Sr.
Kellen Moore, Boise State, QB, So.
DeMarco Murray, Oklahoma, RB, Jr.
Tony Pike, Cincinnati, QB, Sr.
Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State, QB, So.
Todd Reesing, Kansas, QB, Sr.
Zac Robinson, Oklahoma State, QB, Sr.
Jacquizz Rodgers, Oregon State, RB, So.
Evan Royster, Penn State, RB, Jr.
Charles Scott, LSU, RB, Sr.
Da’Rel Scott, Maryland, RB, Jr.
Jordan Shipley, Texas, WR, Sr.
Michael Smith, Arkansas, RB, Sr.
Jevan Snead, Ole Miss, QB, Jr.
CJ Spiller, Clemson, RB, SR
Ben Tate, Auburn, RB, Sr.
Golden Tate, Notre Dame, WR, Jr.
Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech, QB, Jr.
Tim Tebow, Florida, QB, Sr.
Damian Williams, USC, WR, Jr.
Juice Williams, Illinois, QB, Sr.
Russell Wilson, NC State, QB, So.