Coug OL, Washington State D snubbed on watch lists

BASKETBALL GREAT Michael Jordan used every perceived slight as ultimate motivation. If a Cougar offensive lineman, or any Washington State defensive player for that matter, is in need of motivation headed into the 2016 campaign, they don’t have to look far.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is awarded to the best defensive player in college football.  The Outland Trophy goes to the best offensive lineman or defensive tackle in college football.  No Washington State player was named to either watch list.

The Outland watch list featured 22 offensive tackles, 20 offensive guards, 11 centers and 17 defensive tackles. There were 10 players from the Pac-12 listed, tied for third-most by conference.  But no Cougs.

The Nagurski watch list featured 13 Pac-12 players, and 88 total.  But no Cougs. 

The watch list for the Jim Thorpe Award, awarded to the nation’s best defensive back, has also been released. No Cougs made the list.

Meanwhile, Mike Leach was named co-coach of the year in the Pac-12 last December (with David Shaw) as well as the Associated Press Pac-12 coach of the year. While Shaw was recently named to this year's Dodd Coach of the Year watch list, Leach was left off.  Other Pac-12 coaches on the watch list: Oregon’s Mark Helfrich, UCLA’s Jim Mora, UW’s Chris Petersen and Utah’s Kyle Whittingham.

Washington State’s fall camp kicks off next month.

Cougar kicker Erik Powell might have has some extra motivation as well.  Powell hit 20 of 26 field goals (77 percent, with a long of 47) and was 49 of 49 on extra point tries last season but was left off the Lou Groza watch list, given to the nation’s best placekicker.  Several kickers on the watch list had a lesser percentage in ’15 than did Powell including Alabama’s Adam Griffith (72 percent).  LSU’s Trent Domingue had similar numbers to Powell, with 13 of 17 field goal makes (77 percent, with a long of 45) and converted 49 of 50 extra point tries, and made the watch list.

Luke Falk and Gabe Marks were earlier named to the watch list for the Maxwell Award (best college player) and Riley Sorenson is on the watch list for the Rimington Trophy, presented to the nation’s best center.

Marks and Falk are locks to be named to the Biletnikoff Award and Davey O'Brien Award watch lists, respectively, released later this week. 

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