The Maxwell Award adds Taysom Hill to its preseason list for the player of the year award.
BYU does not have a starting quarterback named as it will come down to Taysom Hill or Tanner Mangum, but only the former earned a spot on the Maxwell Award watch list which is given out to the nation’s best player. Hill has not completed a full season in two years as he has had back-to-back season ending injuries, but despite that he is BYU’s all-time leading rusher for a quarterback with 2,212 yards and 24 career rushing touchdowns.
Health is obviously a concern if Hill is going to compete for this award, but his prior injuries have been different and not connected to each other and that is a plus. If Hill does beat Mangum for the job, the schedule is there for Hill to make a serious run at this award. He already has a national name and plays for BYU which is a known commodity.
Hill will need some help from his team to get victories against one of the nation’s toughest schedules, because a player can put up amazing stats but if the team is just above bowl eligible that does not help one’s chances to be in contention for this award.
Last year’s winner came from Alabama as running back Derrick Henry won the award and he helped lead the Crimson Tide to the national championship. BYU will not need to have a season that good but getting to at least nine wins would keep him in the conversation of this award, and of course putting up elite numbers against teams like Utah, UCLA, Michigan State, Boise State and others.
BYU does have one prior Maxwell Award winner as current offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Ty Detmer won the award in 1990.
Semifinalists for the Maxwell Award will be announced October 31, 2016, while the three finalists for the award will be unveiled November 21, 2016. The winner of the 2016 Maxwell Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on December 8, 2016.