University of Notre Dame senior quarterback Ian Book was chosen to the 2019 Maxwell Award Watch List, while Fighting Irish senior defensive linemen Khalid Kareem and Julian Okwara were both selected to the 2019 Bednarik Award Watch List.
The Bednarik Award is given to college football’s defensive player of the year, while the Maxwell Award is presented to the college football player of the year.
Kareem and Okwara are the only pair of defensive line teammates to be included on the list of 80 players from across the country.
Kareem registered 42 tackles in 2018, including 10.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks — which ranked tied for second and third, respectively, on the Irish. He started all 13 games for Notre Dame last year and earned Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week after the victory over No. 14 Michigan where he collected eight total tackles, 1.5 for loss, one sack and one quarterback hurry.
Okwara played in all 13 games in 2018 and started 12. He recorded 38 tackles and led the Irish in tackles for loss (12.5) and sacks (8.0). According to Pro Football Focus, Okwara led Notre Dame with 40 quarterback hurries, which ranked as the fourth-most of any returning player across the country. He registered a remarkable seven quarterback hurries in the victory over Pittsburgh and picked up an interception in the win over Michigan.
Book, who took the starting reigns in the fourth game of the 2018 season, helped the Irish rip off eight consecutive victories, complete an undefeated regular season and a berth into the College Football Playoff semifinals (Cotton Bowl). He finished the season completing 68.2 percent (214 of 314) of his passes with 19 touchdowns and 2,628 yards. He also rushed 95 times for 280 yards and four touchdowns. Book ranked eighth and 17th, respectively, in FBS completion percentage and pass efficiency. He became the first FBS signal-caller to win his first five starts of a season with a completion percentage of over 70 percent in each game since Russell Wilson at Wisconsin in 2011.
Here’s a quick rundown of when specific awards will release watch lists:
Mon., July 15: Bednarik Award, Maxwell Award
Tue., July 16: Davey O’Brien Award
Wed., July 17: Doak Walker Award
Thur., July 18: Biletnikoff Award
Fri., July 19: Mackey Award, Rimington Trophy
Mon., July 22: Paycom Jim Thorpe Award, Butkus Award
Tue., July 23: Outland Trophy presented by NFID, Bronko Nagurski Trophy
Wed., July 24: Lou Groza Award, Ray Guy Award
Thur., July 25: Paul Hornung Award, Wuerffel Trophy
Fri., July 26: Walter Camp Award
— ND —