College football award watch lists are starting to come out every day now and thankfully there's always some MAC representatives for these things. The Maxwell Award Watch List was released this morning and Western Michigan and Toledo running backs Jarvion Franklin and Kareem Hunt both had their names recognized. Since 1937, the Maxwell Award has been given to America's College Player of the Year, but it's all geared towards offensive players.
In his freshman season, Franklin emerged as a WMU commit that nobody had huge expectations for to become the 2014 MAC Offensive Player of the Year in his first year on campus. He totalled 1,551 rushing yards averaging 5.1 yards per carry and punched it into the end zone 24 times (well, 25 if we're including his 54-yard receiving touchdown against Eastern Michigan, his only catch of the game).
Kareem Hunt's freshman season wasn't as memorable, but still very impressive. He carried over the success he was able to attain to be much better as a sophomore. Now the returning leader in rushing yards for the conference with 1,631, Hunt scored in eight of the 10 games that he started and played in last season, finishing with 16 touchdowns. In the GoDaddy Bowl against Arkansas State, Hunt had a season-best 271 rushing yards with five rushing scores.
The winning recipient of this year's Maxwell Award will be announced on December 10, 2015.