BYU quarterback Tanner Mangum and linebacker Fred Warner were added to 2017 watch lists by the Maxwell Football Club on Monday.
Penn State safety Marcus Allen is also a nominee for the Bednarik Award. Alabama leads all schools with four players on the list.
A native of Arvada, Colorado, Wingard was one of 16 finalists last season for the Jim Thorpe Award, which goes to the nation's top defensive back. The award began in 1937. Maxwell's contributions to the game of football were extensive, including time as a player, a sportswriter and an official.
The Maxwell Award is given annually to the college player judged to be the best in the nation by the Maxwell Football Club. He was named one of Sports Illustrated's top 10 college football freaks and was Pac-12 honorable mention in 2015.
MI defensive coordinator Don Brown says he believes Hurst and Gary form the top defensive lineman tandem in the country, and they've both appeared on numerous preseason top-player lists.
Smith starred for Baylor in 2016 en route to being an All-Big 12 first team selection by the league's coaches.
Thomas earns a spot on his first major watch list after leading the Noles with 77 tackles in 2016 in his first full season as a starter. He completed 106-of-161 passes for 1,204 yards and 10 touchdowns. Auburn's backfield duo of junior quarterback Jarrett Stidham and senior running back Kamryn Pettway also made the 85-member list. He has thrown a touchdown in a school-record 15 consecutive games. This is the second year in a row both Blanding and Kiser have been on the preseason Bednarik Award Watch List, while Blanding was on the 2015 preseason list as a sophomore. In 2016, he led BYU in total tackles with 86, while recording a career-high in tackles with 14 against West Virginia. He was honored as the Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week and Rose Bowl Player of the Week for his 22-tackle effort versus Minnesota Oct. 1. He also rushed for 139 yards against No. 2 MI on October 29, the most by a player against the Wolverines during the regular season. White stepped up to take his place as the leader in the Mountaineer secondary as he finished with 58 tackles (48 unassisted) and two forced fumbles last season.
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