June 13, 2006
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Senior quarterback Brady Quinn (Dublin, Ohio), senior wide receiver Jeff Samardzija (Valparaiso, Ind.), and junior running back Darius Walker (Lawrenceville, Ga.) have been named to the 2006 Maxwell Award Watch List.
The Maxwell Award is presented annually by the Maxwell Football Club to the top collegiate player. It will be awarded, along with the club’s Chuck Bednarik Award, which goes to the nation’s top defensive player. Both awards will be presented at the Home Depot College Football Awards Show on ESPN in December 2006.
Quinn enters his senior season owning every major Notre Dame passing record, including attempts, completions, yards, yards per game, and touchdown passes. Under the direction of first-year head coach Charlie Weis in 2005, Quinn set single-season records for attempts (450), completions (292), yards (3919), and touchdowns (32). He was rewarded for his efforts by being named third-team All-America by the Associated Press, a finalist for the Davey O’Brien Award, and the winner of the Sammy Baugh Award as the nation’s top quarterback by the Columbus (OH) Touchdown Club. Quinn will serve as the team’s offensive captain for the second consecutive year in 2006.
Samardzija was on the receiving end of many of Quinn’s passes. His accolades in `05 included first-team All-America by the Football Writers Association of America and ESPN.com. He was also named a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award for college football’s top reciever. In 2005, Samardzija set single-season records for receiving yards (1,249) and touchdown catches (15).
Walker is the third cog in the Irish offensive machine. As a sophomore last season, Walker eclipsed the 100 yard rushing mark in seven games, which included the first four contests. He set a Notre Dame bowl record with three rushing touchdowns against Ohio State in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. In 2004, Walker set the Notre Dame freshman rushing record with 786 yards, including a break-out 115 yard, two touchdown performance in an upset win over Michigan.
Notre Dame’s three players on the Maxwell Award Watch List matches USC, Ohio State, Michigan, and Miami (FL), for the most nominees. The list will be trimmed to twelve semi-finalists in October of `06, before three finalists are named in November.