The Maxwell Football Club has listed three Wildcats on their preseason watch lists for the College Player of the Year and College Defensive Player of the Year. Clayton Thorson and Justin Jackson were both named to the Maxwell Award watch list for Player of the Year. Safety Godwin Igwebuike was named to the Bednarik Award watch list for Defensive Player of the Year.
Clayton Thorson is entering his third year as Northwestern’s starting quarterback and has drawn a lot of preseason expectations after his solid season in 2016. Thorson threw for 3,182 yards, 22 TDs and 9 INTs in 2016, earning himself a passer rating of 125.9 for the season.
Thorson’s teammate Justin Jackson is also on the list. Jackson rushed for 1,524 and 15 touchdowns last season, and will look to bring home another winning season for Northwestern in 2017. They will be competing against Louisville’s Lamar Jackson, last year’s winner, as well as Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma), Sam Darnold (USC) and a host of other players.
On the defensive side, senior Godwin Igwebuike forewent the NFL Draft to return for another season with Northwestern. The hard-hitting safety has made a name for himself. Penn State’s Marcus Allen is the only other Big Ten safety that made the Bednarik watch list.