It's nearly football time in Oklahoma, and just like every season, both OU and OSU have plenty of preseason hype surrounding its players. On Tuesday, both the Maxwell Award and Bednarik Award released a preseason watch list that featured a plethora of Sooners and Cowboys.
The Maxwell Award, which honors the best college football player on the nation, had four local players headlining its watch list. OU quarterback Baker Mayfield and running back Semaje Perine made the cut, while OSU quarterback Mason Rudolph and wide receiver James Washington were also listed.
Clemson's DeShaun Watson and Stanford's Christian McCaffrey are among others also featured on the list.
The Bednarik Award, which goes to the nation's best defensive player, has three Sooners and one Cowboy on its list. OU linebacker Jordan Evans, cornerback Jordan Thomas and defensive tackle Charles Walker all made it, while OSU safety Jordan Sterns is also a player to watch.
Evans is expected to lead OU's group of linebackers after Dominique Alexander bolted for the NFL, while Walker should be a force up front after missing the Orange Bowl with a concussion. Thomas, who was arrested last week in Norman, could still face discipline heading into next season but the team has yet to make an announcement.
Sterns is one of the best safeties in the nation, and has recorded 100 or more tackles in each of the last two seasons.
Semifinalists for both awards will be announced on Oct. 31, while the three finalists will be named on Nov. 21 and the winner on Dec. 8.