Robinson, Overshown headline Longhorns nominated to preseason award watch lists

Katie Borchetta , Sports Reporter

Preseason football award watch list season is here, and many Longhorns have been featured as players to watch heading into the 2022 season.

Bijan Robinson, star junior running back, has all eyes on him this season, being nominated to four different lists. He was nominated alongside Roschon Johnson, Texas senior running back, for the Doak Walker Award, named after the former SMU running back, which honors the best running back in the country.

Texas has produced a number of Doak Walker award winners in previous years, including Ricky Williams in 1997 and 1998, Cedric Benson in 2004 and D’Onta Foreman in 2016. 

Robinson was also nominated to the Maxwell Award watch list alongside his teammate, sophomore wide receiver Xavier Worthy. The Maxwell Award is given annually to the top player in the country as decided by the Maxwell Football Club. Since 1937, Texas has claimed four winners of the award, all of whom went on to play professionally: Tommy Nobis, Jr. in 1965, Ricky Williams in 1998, Vince Young in 2005 and Colt McCoy in 2009.

Robinson and Worthy were also placed on the Walter Camp 2022 Player of the Year watch list together, which, similarly to the Maxwell Award, is given annually to the country’s all-around best player as decided by a group of NCAA head coaches and sports information directors

Former Texas quarterback Colt McCoy notably won the award in back-to-back seasons in 2008 and 2009. Ricky Williams also claimed the title in 1998, the same year he won the Doak Walker and Maxwell awards. 

The Wuerffel Trophy watch list is the fourth and final list Robinson appears on. The list honors collegiate athletes for their character and service, as well as their athletic performance. 

Since the award’s creation in 2005, former defensive end Sam Acho has been the lone Longhorn to win the award, honored in 2010 for his community work at home and in Nigeria.

Despite all the preseason recognition, Robinson downplayed the hype when speaking at Big 12 Media Days in July.

“When everybody on the team is successful, and when we start winning games, then it’s not just about me, it’s about everybody that’s around me getting their awards too,” Robinson said. “When we’re trying to strive to be the best team that we can be and win as many games as we can win, then everybody gets elevated, and everybody gets awards and everything.”

Fifth-year linebacker DeMarvion Overshown is another Longhorn that has been placed on four different award watch lists, with the most notable being the Bronko Nagurski Award for the best defensive player in college football.

Previously, former Texas linebacker Derrick Johnson won the award in 2004 and fellow linebacker Brian Orakpo won in 2008.

The Chuck Bednarik Award is a similar award that Overshown has been placed on the watch list for, honoring the best defensive player in college football. But, unlike the Nagurski Trophy, the Bednarik Award has not previously been won by a Longhorn.

The Butkus Award, which honors the best linebackers across professional, collegiate and high school categories, placed Overshown on its watch list as well. Johnson also won the Butkus the same year he won the Nagurski Trophy.

Finally, Overshown was placed on the Lombardi Award watch list. Awarded by the Rotary Club of Houston to an offensive or defensive lineman who personifies the values and qualities of esteemed NFL coach Vince Lombardi, the honor could potentially be given to Overshown, who would follow in the footsteps of previous Texas winners like defensive tackle Kenneth Sims in 1981, defensive tackle Tony Degrate in 1984 and defensive end Brian Orakpo in 2008.

“I’m just gonna be that guy,” Overshown said at Big 12 Media Days. “Now I take it upon myself every day to make sure I’m holding everybody accountable, making sure I’m being the leader that the young guys need me to be.”

D’Shawn Jamison, senior defensive back and returner, also earned a spot on the Paul Hornung Award watch list. The award recognizes high performing collegiate players who play multiple positions on either offense or defense, have a prominent role on special teams and can perform as two-way players.

Worthy and junior wide receiver Isaiah Neyor also have eyes on them for the Biletnikoff Award. The award is given to the nation’s top receiver by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation. Worthy or Neyor could become the first Longhorn to ever win the award.

While many will be watching Texas’ most notable athletes this season, Robinson doesn’t want the Heisman, which he’s an early season favorite for, or any other award to draw the focus away from the team’s success as a whole.

“I feel like with that Heisman (talk), it is a distraction,” Robinson said. “But when we all eat, we’ll all succeed together.”