The preseason watch list finale is for the Walter Camp ‘Player of the Year’ Award. This year’s list features 40 players in total, spanning 30 different FBS schools.
Among the 40 are two players from Michigan-based schools.
— Detroit News Sports (@detnews_sports) July 21, 2017
RASHAN GARY, DE | MICHIGAN
This is the third preseason watch list for Michigan sophomore Rashan Gary. He’s already been named to the watch list for two defense-specific awards: the Chuck Bednarik Award and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy.
The former No. 1 overall recruit from the Class of 2016 did not start a single game last season for the Wolverines and he now has extremely high expectations to help lead what will be largely a youthful and growing defense in Ann Arbor.
It won’t be terribly surprising to see Gary break out, excel and earn numerous accolades in 2017. Should he take home the award, it’d be just the fourth time a defensive player has earned the honor since the award was first handed out in 1967; he’d also be the first defensive lineman. Gary would also be the third Michigan player to be a Walter Camp Award recipient (Charles Woodson, CB – 1997, Desmond Howard, WR – 1991).
JARVION FRANKLIN, RB | WESTERN MICHIGAN
As for Western Michigan senior running back Jarvion Franklin, this is the second time he’s on the preseason watch list for the Walter Camp Award (also in 2015) and it’s the third consecutive year that a Bronco is present on the watch list (Corey Davis, WR – 2016).
Franklin has put together a marvelous and under-reported career in Kalamazoo thus far. In 40 career games for the Broncos, he’s compiled 3,639 yards on the ground and an ongoing school-record 41 rushing touchdowns. He currently sits third atop the list for most rushing yards in program history, just 551 yards shy of tying to all-time mark.
Add in his pass-catching ability and he’s logged 4,274 yards from scrimmage in his first three seasons; good for fourth all-time in school history and 1,017 yards shy of his former teammate Corey Davis’ who set the all-time mark last season.
Franklin was also previously named to the Doak Walker Award, an honor given to the nation’s top running back.