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College Football Awards 2012: Pitt, Penn State Players Getting Early Recognition

Pittsburgh and Penn State both have a pair of players on the preseason watch list for college football's Bednarik and Maxwell awards.

COLUMBUS OH - NOVEMBER 13:  Silas Redd #25 of the Penn State Nittany Lions stiff arms Jermale Hines #7 of the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium on November 13 2010 in Columbus Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS OH - NOVEMBER 13: Silas Redd #25 of the Penn State Nittany Lions stiff arms Jermale Hines #7 of the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium on November 13 2010 in Columbus Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
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College football fans starved for something, anything, to talk about received the first of several gifts on Monday. The first preseason award watch lists were revealed, covering the Bednarik and Maxwell Awards. Those lists feature several players from area schools.

The Bednarik Award is given to the nation's top defensive player every year. America's top defensive player receives the Maxwell Award. More preseason award watch lists will be released over this week and next as fans and the media gear up for the start of football season.

Area players on the Bednarik list are:

  • DT Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh
  • LB Gerald Hodges, Penn State

Local names to know include a pair of running backs on the Maxwell list:

  • RB Ray Graham, Pittsburgh
  • RB Silas Redd, Penn State

The full watch list and the schedule for the forthcoming preseason awards lists can be found here.

For more on Penn State, visit Black Shoe Diaries. For more on Pittsburgh, check out Cardiac Hill. For coverage and commentary around the world of college football, be sure to visit SB Nation's college football hub.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.