(06-22-05) - Back-to-back national rushing champions Patrick Cobbs and Jamario Thomas were named to the 69th Maxwell Award watch list.
The award is given annually to the collegiate football player of the year by the Maxwell Football Club and lists the Mean Green running backs among some of the top players in the country.
Cobbs, who led the nation in rushing in 2003, was selected to the Maxwell watch list for the second straight season. The senior rushed for 1,680 yards and 19 touchdowns in 2003, earning Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Year honors. Cobbs is expected to lead the Mean Green backfield this season after an injuries held him out of the 2004 campaign.
Thomas took the nation by storm last season, rushing for 180.1 yards per game as a freshman. He is one of only four sophomore running backs on the list, three of which led their conference in rushing (Adrian Peterson - Oklahoma, Michael Hart - Michigan, Jamario Thomas - North Texas). Thomas, the 2004 Sun Belt Player of the Year, set the NCAA freshman record for 200-yard games with five, and tied the record for the quickest back to reach 1,000 yards at seven.
The Mean Green is the only Sun Belt team represented on the watch list and is the only team in Texas to have multiple players named. Only North Texas and National Champion Southern California have two running backs named.
The 10 semi-finalists for the Maxwell will be announced in October and the three finalists in November. The winner will be revealed at the Home Depot College Football Awards Show in December.
The Mean Green opens the 2005 season at Louisiana State on September 3rd as the only team in history to have two national rushing champions in the same backfield.