A pair of Notre Dame offensive players have been named to the 2017 Maxwell Award Watch List.
Senior left tackle Mike McGlinchey and junior running back Josh Adams made the list for the award given each year to the player determined to be the best all-around player in the country.
McGlinchey enters the season as one of the nation’s top returning offensive linemen, earning Associated Press third-team All-American honors last season. Adams has rushed for 1,768 yards (6.4 per carry) and 11 touchdowns in his first two seasons. His yardage total is the fourth most by a Notre Dame back after his first two seasons in school history.
The 6-8, 312-pound McGlinchey is rated by Pro Football Focus as the fourth best run blocking offensive tackle in the land based on his 2016 production. After a dominant 2015 season he took a step back last fall, but a strong spring has expectations once again on the rise for the gifted blocker.
Adams set a Notre Dame freshman rushing record with 835 yards in 2015, which included a 168-yard performance against Stanford that also set a freshman rushing record. Adams rushed for 7.1 yards per carry as a freshman.
Like McGlinchey, Adams was expected to have a big season in 2016 but a rough start to the season kept him from having the breakout many expected. He rushed for just 59.4 yards per game and 4.7 yards per carry in the first seven games of the season. Adams finished strong, rushing for 103.4 yards per game and 7.5 yards per carry in the final five games of the season.
Adams set a career high with 180 yards in the season-ending loss to USC.
Six different Notre Dame players have won the Maxwell Award, which was first handed out in 1937. In 1949 end Leon Hart won the Maxwell Award and the Heisman Trophy. Three years later quarterback Johnny Lattner became the second Notre Dame to win the award, and he won it again in 1953. Lattner also won the Heisman Trophy in 1953.
Former Notre Dame linebacker Jim Lynch won the award and was named a unanimous All-American. Hall of Fame defensive end Ross Browner won the Maxwell Award in 1977, a year in which he also won the Lombardi Award, which goes to the nation’s top lineman.
Notre Dame’s all-time leading passer – Brady Quinn – won the award in 2006, the same season he won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which goes to the nation’s top quarterback.
Former linebacker Manti Te’o won the Maxwell Award in 2012. That season he was a unanimous All-American and won the Lott Trophy (nation’s top defender), the Bednark Award (top defensive player), the Walter Camp Award (nation’s top player), the Nagurski Trophy (top defensive player), the Butkus Award (top defensive player) and the Lombardi Award (best linebacker or lineman).
Lattner (1952-53) and former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow (2007-08) are the only players to win the award twice.
Former Penn State standout Glenn Ressler was the last offensive lineman to win the award, which he did in 1964. Former Alabama running back Derrick Henry won the award in 2015, making him the last running back to win the award.