NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Walter Camp Football Foundation has announced the names of forty "players to watch" for its 2011 Player of the Year award, the nation's fourth-oldest individual college football accolade.
Six SEC players were named to the list, including Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray, Alabama running back Trent Richardson, and Alabama defensive back Robert Lester.
Two players from the Pac-12 who were finalists for the 2010 Player of the Year award – Oregon junior running back LaMichael James and Stanford senior quarterback Andrew Luck – lead this year's Walter Camp watch list. James, who rushed for 1,731 yards and 21 touchdowns for the Ducks, was a Walter Camp First Team All American last season, while Luck was named to the Second Team after passing for 3,338 yards and 32 touchdowns in 2010.
In addition to James and Luck, nine players who have been previously selected a Walter Camp All-American are included on the 2011 Watch List, including a pair of Big 12 wide receivers Justin Blackmon (Oklahoma State) and Ryan Broyles (Oklahoma).
"We are proud to continue the great work of Walter Camp and recognize the best college football players in the nation," Foundation president John Marks said. "This watch list is a great start to what is shaping up to be another exciting year of college football."
The watch list will be narrowed to 10 semi-finalists in mid-November. The 2011 Walter Camp Player of the Year recipient, which is voted on by the 120 NCAA Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors, will be announced live on ESPN SportsCenter on Thursday, December 8. The winner will then receive his trophy at the Foundation's annual national awards banquet on January 14, 2012 at the Yale University Commons in New Haven.
2011 Walter Camp Player of the Year "Watch List"
Matt Barkley, QB, USC, Junior
Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State, Junior *
Ryan Broyles, WR, Oklahoma, Senior *
Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona State, Junior
Tank Carder, LB, TCU, Senior
Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina, Senior
Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan State, Senior
Jared Crick, DT, Nebraska, Senior
Knile Davis, RB, Arkansas, Junior
Michael Egnew, TE, Missouri, Senior *
Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame, Senior
Jeff Fuller, WR, Texas A&M, Senior
Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor, Senior
Chandler Harnish, QB, Northern Illinois, Senior
Ronnie Hillman, RB, San Diego State, Sophomore
Jayron Hosley, DB, Virginia Tech, Junior *
LaMichael James, RB, Oregon, Junior *
Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina, Junior @
Brandon Jenkins, DT, Florida State, Junior
Damarais Johnson, WR, Tulsa, Senior
Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma, Junior
Case Keenum, QB, Houston, Senior %
Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College, Junior *
Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina, Sophomore @
Robert Lester, DB, Alabama, Junior @
Brandon Lindsey, DE, Pittsburgh, Junior
Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford, Senior @
Jonathan Massaquoi, DE, Troy, Junior
Bryant Moniz, QB, Hawaii, Senior
Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State, Senior
Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia, Sophomore
Eric Page, WR/KR, Toledo, Junior *
Dan Persa, QB, Northwestern, Senior
Chris Polk, RB, Washington, Junior
Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama, Junior
Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan, Junior
Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia, Junior
Darron Thomas, QB, Oregon, Junior
Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State, Senior
James White, RB, Wisconsin, Sophomore
*- 2010 Walter Camp First Team All-America selection
@ - 2010 Walter Camp Second Team All-America selection