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Archive for August 3rd, 2020

American Athletic Conference places Nine players on Maxwell Award Watch List

Nine of the American Athletic Conference’s top players have been named to the preseason watch list for the 2020 Maxwell Award, which is presented annually to the most outstanding player in college football.

Memphis had three of The American’s nine selections, tying with Alabama, Indiana and Louisville for the most of any team nationally.

The list includes SMU quarterback Shane Buechele, who was a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award in 2019. Buechele is one of three QBs from The American on the 2020 watch list, along with UCF’s Dillon Gabriel and Memphis’ Brady White.

Three running backs on the list are highlighted by Memphis’ Kenneth Gainwell, who was the FWAA National Freshman of the Year in 2019. Gainwell is joined by Tulsa senior Shamari Brooks and Temple sophomore Re’Mahn Davis.

The American also has three wide receivers on the watch list – Memphis’ Damonte Coxie, SMU’s Reggie Roberson Jr., and Houston’s Marquez Stevenson.

2020 Maxwell Award Preseason Watch List
American Athletic Conference Players

Shamari Brooks RB Tulsa
Shane Buechele QB SMU
Damonte Coxie WR Memphis
Re’Mahn Davis RB Temple
Dillon Gabriel QB UCF
Kenneth Gainwell RB Memphis
Reggie Roberson Jr. WR SMU
Marquez Stevenson WR Houston
Brady White QB Memphis

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE MEDIA RELATIONS

Four American Athletic Conference Kickers named to Groza Award Watch List

 

Four kickers from the American Athletic Conference are listed among the 30 players on the preseason watch list for the 2020 Lou Groza Award, which goes annually to the nation’s top placekicker.

Three of the four kickers from The American have been semifinalists for the Groza Award in previous seasons.

The American’s contingent includes Riley Patterson of Memphis, who was the all-conference first team selection last season and a Groza Award semifinalist in 2019. Patterson became the first FBS kicker since 2016 to kick at least five 50-yard field goals while connecting on better than 90 percent of his attempts. Patterson is the FBS active leader in kicker scoring entering the 2020 season (351 points).

East Carolina senior Jake Verity, a two-time all-conference selection and a 2019 Groza semifinalist was also named. Groza leads all active FBS kickers with 60 career field goals after he hit a school-record 24 field goals last season.

Jared Sackett of USF was placed on the watch list after finishing as a semifinalist in the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Sackett is a junior transfer from UTSA, where he had 14 career field goals of at least 40 yards.

Dalton Witherspoon of Houston was a watch list choice after a 2019 season in which he hit at least one field goal in every game, including a school-record streak of 15 consecutive made field goals.

2020 Lou Groza Award Preseason Watch List
American Athletic Conference Players

Riley Patterson Memphis
Jared Sackett USF
Jake Verity East Carolina
Dalton Witherspoon Houston

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE MEDIA RELATIONS

American Athletic Conference: Cincinnati Bearcats punter James Smith earns spot on Ray Guy Watch List

James Smith (37) UC punter in action vs Ohio Bobcats (courtesy UC Sports Communications)

Cincinnati punter James Smith was named to the preseason watch list for the 2020 Ray Guy Award, the Augusta Sports Council announced in late July.

This is the third time on the watch list for Smith, who was a finalist for the award in 2018 which annually honors the nation’s best punter.

James Smith

A three-time All-American Athletic Conference honoree, Smith earned second-team honors in 2019 after back-to-back first-team awards in 2017 and 2018.

Entering the 2020 season, Smith is prominent in UC’s punting record book, sitting second all-time in punting average (43.5), fifth in punting yards (8,491) and eighth in total punts (195).

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE MEDIA RELATIONS

Outland Trophy Watch List selects Five players from American Athletic Conference

 

Five American Athletic Conference players are among the 85 linemen on the preseason watch list for the 2020Outland Trophy, which goes to the nation’s top interior lineman.

The American’s representatives on the watch ilst includes four offensive lineman and one defensive player. Tulane guard Corey Dublin, Memphis center Dylan Parham, UCF guard Cole Schneider and SMU tackle Jaylon Thomas were the offensive players, while Temple defensive tackle Ifeanyi Maijeh is the defensive player.

Maijeh was chosen to the American Athletic Conference’s all-conference first team last season, while Schneider and Thomas were both second-team selections. Dublin and Parham were both honorable mention picks.

The American has had one winner of the Outland Trophy in the league’s first seven seasons. Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver won the award in 2017 and was a semifinalist in his injury-shortened 2018 season.

2020 Outland Trophy Preseason Watch List
American Athletic Conference Players

Corey Dublin OG Tulane
Ifeanyi Maijeh DT Temple
Dylan Parham C Memphis
Cole Schneider OG UCF
Jaylon Thomas OT SMU

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE MEDIA RELATIONS

John Force Racing Team out for rest of 2020 Season

John Force 2020 photo By Old World Industries, Inc. - https peakauto.com team peak, CC BY-SA 4.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

John Force is the most recognizable figures on the National Hot Rod Association circuit.

The 71-year-old has been a fixture in the NHRA family since 1978. He has won 16 championships and 151 races.

If you have never seen him race, you are missing a real treat. But you will have to wait until the 2021 season.

The drag racing king and his four-car team which includes his daughter, Brittany Force, Austin Prock and son in-law, Robert Hight, will remain sidelined for the current 2020 season.

There were speculation that Force may have health issues, after all he is in his seventies. But that is not the case.

Last Friday, John Force Racing shocked everyone in the motor sports world by announcing that it will not be competing in any of the final 12 events of the season. The company cited sponsorship issues and making a financial decision to be able to come back in the future.

The team skipped the first two NHRA events in Indianapolis, as the circuit returned from a hiatus due to the current virus pandemic.

The absence of Force and his team is a blow to the circuit due to his popularity with sponsors, fans and media.

John Force Peak Chevrolet Funny Car 2017 photo By NaBUru38 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https commons.wikimedia.org