The Maxwell and Bednarik Award preseason watchlists were released on Tuesday. And while preseason watchlists aren't exactly known for their brevity, three Eagles were named as nominees for the two awards. Donnie Fletcher and Luke Kuechly were named to the preseason Bednarik Award watch list, awarded to the best defensive player in the nation, while Montel Harris was named to the Maxwell Award list, given to the best overall player in the nation. PDF here.
While there is certainly a bit of prestige being named to these watch lists, my guess is that barring a dream season by the Eagles, neither Fletcher or Harris will come away with the hardware. However, while Fletcher and Harris probably won't win the Bednarik and Maxwell Awards, respectively, the fact that they made this list probably means they'll also find themselves on the Jim Thorpe (best defensive back) and Doak Walker (best running backs) watch lists. The Jim Thorpe Award preseason watchlist will be released on July 11, while the Doak Walker Award watchlist will be published on July 15.
Kuechly, on the other hand, has a very real shot at nabbing this year's Bednarik Award. Kuechly was a 2010 Bednarik Award semifinalist, and joins Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o and Florida State defensive end Brandon Jenkins as the other semifinalists on this year's preseason watch list.
In all likelihood, Kuechly will also be named to the 2011 Bronko Nagurski Award watch list (July 8) and the Butkus Award watch list (July 14) in the coming week.
Also, may I suggest dusting off your #Freese4Groza Twitter hash tag? The Lou Groza Award watch list, presented annually to the top college football placekicker, drops on Thursday.