The Big Ten led all conferences with nine standouts on the Maxwell Award watch list and eight honorees on the Lombardi watch list, while also boasting 10 nominees for the Bednarik Award and six nominees for the Lott Trophy. Five Conference standouts appear on multiple watch lists in Iowas Chad Greenway and Abdul Hodge, Michigans Gabe Watson, Northwesterns Tim McGarigle and Ohio States A.J. Hawk.
The Big Tens nine student-athletes on the Maxwell Award watch list are Iowa quarterback Drew Tate, Michigans trio of wideout Steve Breaston, running back Michael Hart, and quarterback Chad Henne, Michigan State quarterback Drew Stanton, Ohio State wide receivers Ted Ginn and Santonio Holmes and the Penn State duo of running back Tony Hunt and quarterback Michael Robinson. The Wolverines were one of only three programs to feature three or more players on the watch list along with Georgia and Southern California. A Big Ten player has claimed the Maxwell Award on 14 occasions, most recently when Nittany Lion running back Larry Johnson was honored in 2002.
The Bednarik Award watch list features 10 Conference standouts in Iowas Greenway and Hodge, Michigans Watson, Northwesterns McGarigle, Ohio States Hawk and Bobby Carpenter, Penn States Dan Connor, Paul Posluszny and Alan Zemaitis and Wisconsins Dontez Sanders. The Nittany Lions are one of only five schools to boast three individuals on the watch list along with Auburn, Florida State, Miami and Tennessee. The Big Ten has collected the Bednarik Award four times, most recently when PSUs LaVar Arrington picked up the 1999 honor.
The Lott Trophy, which enters its second year honoring a defensive player based on both performance and character, tabbed six Big Ten players for its watch list including Illinois Morris Virgil, Greenway, Hodge, Watson, McGarigle and Hawk.
The Big Ten placed eight student-athletes on the Lombardi Award watch list, including Greenway, Hodge, Hawk, Minnesotas Greg Eslinger and four standouts from Michigan -- Matt Lentz, Tim Massaquoi, Adam Stenavich and Watson. The Wolverines are the only university to boast four selections. Conference standouts have earned six Lombardi Awards, most recently when Ohio States Orlando Pace claimed the honor in 1995 and 1996.