Senior offensive linemen Jake Smith and senior defender Lorenzo Mauldin were each named to preseason award watch lists Thursday morning.
Smith was named to the Outland Trophy Preseason Watch List while Mauldin was tabbed to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Preseason Watch List. The Outland is annually awarded to college football’s top offensive or defensive lineman; defensive ends are not eligible. The Nagurski Trophy is given to the top defensive player in the nation.
Smith was named to the Rimington Award Watch List earlier in the week. Smith moved to the center position last season and started all 13 games. A first team All-American Athletic Conference selection last year, Smith has made 38 career starts during his career.
Entering his final year with the Cardinals, Smith has a streak of 13 consecutive starts dating back to last season. He played his first two seasons at guard for the Cardinals before transitioning to center in 2013.
Mauldin, who was named to the Chuck Bednarik Award earlier in the week, is one of the most dominating pass rushers in college football after a career-best season in 2013. Mauldin finished in the top 20 nationally in sacks with 9.5. He had a career-best 2.0 sacks in wins over Kentucky and Temple.
A second team all-conference selection a year ago, Mauldin recorded a career-high 40 tackles and 12.0 tackles for loss playing on the nation’s top-ranked defense. He totaled a season-high six tackles against Central Florida and Cincinnati, while totaling a career-high 3.0 tackles for loss against Kentucky and Temple.
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