Nebraska senior quarterback Taylor Martinez and junior I-back Ameer Abdullah have been named to the watch list for the Maxwell Award as announced on Monday morning. Martinez and Abdullah are among eight Big Ten players on the watch list and Nebraska is one of 17 schools with two or more players named to the Maxwell Award watch list. The Maxwell Award, named in honor of Robert W. “Tiny” Maxwell, has been given to America’s College Player of the Year since 1937. Maxwell’s contributions to the game of football were extensive, including as a player, a sportswriter and an official.
The 6-1, 210-pound Martinez has already shattered several Nebraska records in his first three seasons as Nebraska’s starting quarterback. Martinez has established NU records for career and season total offense, career passing yards and ranks second among quarterbacks in career rushing yards. Martinez’s 39 career starts are the second-most of any returning player in the country, and his 2,858 career rushing yards are the most among active FBS players. Martinez was a first-team All-Big Ten pick by the Big Ten Coaches in 2012.
Abdullah teamed with Martinez in 2012 to give Nebraska pair of 1,000-yard rushers. Abdullah rushed for 1,137 yards and eight touchdowns as a sophomore and helped Nebraska lead the Big Ten and rank eighth nationally in rushing offense. Abdullah also posted the sixth-best single-season all-purpose yardage total in NU history with 1,884 yards. Abdullah was a second-team All-Big Ten choice in 2012.
Semifinalists for the Maxwell Award will be announced Oct. 29, while the three finalists for the award will be unveiled Nov. 18. The winner of the 2013 Maxwell Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show held on Dec. 12. The formal presentations of these awards will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Harrah’s Entertainment Atlantic City on March 7, 2014.