It's July, and that means we're still about 50 days away from the start of football season, and desperately searching for any college football news in the desert of the offseason. Well, Bowling Green fans, you got some cool news today.
The 2014 Maxwell Award Watch List was announced Monday morning and BGSU Falcons' quarterback Matt Johnson is on the list. The Maxwell Award, given annually to America's college football player of the year as determined by the Maxwell Football Club. The Award dates back to 1937.
Johnson, a junior, is the only Mid-American Conference player on the list of some of college football's best offensive players, including Alabama's Jameis Winston and Oregon's Marcus Mariota.
Johnson made the list after a spectacular breakout sophomore season in 2013. The Harrisburg, Pennsylvania native threw for 3,467 yards and 25 touchdowns to just seven interceptions in 2013, and was among the most efficient quarterbacks in all of college football. He completed just under 65 percent of his passes and had a QB efficiency rating of 161.7, good enough for eleventh in the nation.
The reigning MAC champion Falcons hired offensive juggernaut Dino Babers as their new head coach in December, which should lead to even bigger numbers for Johnson this upcoming season. In Babers' offense at Eastern Illinois in 2013, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 5,050 yards and 53 touchdowns.
We won't find out if Johnson will make the semifinalists until the Maxwell Football Club announces the whittled down list on November 3, 2014. On November 24 three finalists will be picked from the pool of semifinalists. The winner will be announced on December 11, 2014 during the Home Depot College Football Awards Show Semifinalists for the Maxwell Award will be announced November 3, 2014. From that group, three finalists will be announced November 24, and the winner of the 2014 Maxwell Award will be announced December 11 during the annual Home Depot College Football Awards Show. A formal presentation of the award to the winner will take place in Atlantic City, New Jersey on March 6, 2015.
While this Award tends to go to upperclassmen from power programs, just being named to the Watch List is the first step, and a sign of the kind of players Johnson is grouped in with in terms of his talent.
Here's the full list of players named to the 2014 Maxwell Award Watch List: