The remaining 2017 College Football Awards watch lists were released this past week, and each featured several Big 12 players. Last week we gave you the Big 12 players with the best odds of winning the watch lists that had already been released.
In this roundup of the second set of watch lists, we’ll point out the Big 12 player with the best chance to win each award. Note that some players are listed on more than one watch list and that some players will play their way into contention for these awards, even if they’re not on the initial watch list.
Butkus Award (linebacker)
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, DE/LB, Oklahoma
We profiled Okoronkwo last week and he’s certainly worthy of consideration for the award after his 71-tackle, 12-sack season. But it’s also worth noting that the only other Big 12 linebacker on the watch list is Texas’ Malik Jefferson. It tells you something about what the committee thinks about the linebackers in the Big 12 heading into the season.
Hornung Award (most versatile player in college football)
Byron Pringle, WR/KR, Kansas State
Kansas’ LaQuivonte Gonzalez is certainly worthy of consideration here, but Pringle stands to get plenty of use this season. Pringle caught 39 passes, returned 23 kickoffs for a 28.7-yard average and returned 8 punts for a 7.8-yard average, scoring five times. Now a junior, Pringle should get a bigger showcase this season.
Biletnikoff Award (outstanding receiver)
Allen Lazard, WR, Iowa State
Wide receivers, running backs and tight ends are eligible for this award. Lazard stands the best chance of winning this award out of the Big 12 after a 69-reception, 1,108-yard 2016 in which he caught 7 touchdowns. But his production will be reliant on the progression of QB Jacob Park. If Park plays well, then Lazard can have his best season as a senior. Note: Oklahoma’s Dede Westbrook won this award last year.
Wuerffel Award (community service)
Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State
This award is given to an FBS player that best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement. Risner would be a fine choice, given that he’s a two-year starter and a two-year captain and he’s only a junior.
O’Brien Award (top quarterback)
Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
Mayfield, as noted last week, comes back with some of the best numbers in the Big 12 and a national profile to build on. He would be the best pick, based on the watch list, to win this award out of the Big 12.
Doak Walker Award (top running back)
Justin Crawford, RB, West Virginia
Coming off a 1,000-yard season as essentially a part-time player for the first half of 2016, Crawford comes into this season as the undisputed starter at running back and a new offensive coordinator in Jake Spavital who understands Dana Holgorsen’s offensive system like no other assistant. Crawford could end up having a huge season as a result.
Walter Camp Award (best overall player)
Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
It’s hard to discount how much quarterbacks are looked at for this award and Mayfield is the league’s best entering this season.