Irish at 13... and counting?

With one prestigious award yet to announce its nominees, Notre Dame players have already earned recognition on 13 of the 14 officially released pre-season watch lists.

Nine Irish football players have earned spots on 13 pre-season award watch lists released to date, with Manti Te'o, Harrison Smith, Michael Floyd, and Dayne Crist earning multiple nominations.

The watch list for the Walter Camp Trophy, which has recognized the nation's top player since 1967, is the only pre-season list yet to release its members.

Suspended wide receiver Michael Floyd ranks as Notre Dame's most likely nominee for the award, one won by only Ken MacAfee (1977), Tim Brown (1987) and Raghib "Rocket" Ismail (1990) in program history.

Current Watch List nominees include:

Manti Te'o: Bronco Nagurski (Defensive Player of the Year), Chuck Bednarik (Defensive Player of the Year); Butkus Award (Top Linebacker); and Lombardi Award (Top Lineman).

Harrison Smith: Jim Thorpe Award (Top Defensive Back) and, along with Te'o, the Bronco Nagurski

Michael Floyd: Maxwell Trophy (Outstanding Player); and Biletnikoff (Outstanding Wide Receiver)

Dayne Crist: Davey O'Brien Award (Top Quarterback), and, along with Floyd, the Maxwell Trophy

Tyler Eifert: Mackey Award (Outstanding Tight End)

Braxston Cave: Rimington Trophy (Outstanding Center)

Cierre Wood: Doak Walker Award (Outstanding Running Back)

Zack Martin: Outland Trophy (Outstanding Interior Lineman)

David Ruffer: Lou Groza Award (Top Kicker)

Articles on previously released watch lists and each's relevance to Notre Dame's 2011 opponents can be found at the links below:

Incomplete

From Redshirt to Recognition

What a difference a game makes

Floyd Back…on Biletnikoff


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