AUBURN, Ala. — To win the Maxwell Award this year, a pair of Auburn teammates will have to compete against each other.
The award's preseason watch list, which was released Monday, featured quarterback Nick Marshall and receiver Sammie Coates, one of the best combinations in college football last year.
Marshall accounted for 3,044 yards (1,976 passing, 1,068 rushing) of total offense last season, which was the third-best single-season showing in school history, trailing only trailing only Cam Newton's Heisman-winning campaign in 2010 (4,327 yards) and Dameyune Craig's efforts in 1997 (3,277 yards). Marshall tossed 14 touchdowns and added 12 more scores on the ground.
Coates was Auburn's top pass-catcher last year, leading the team in receptions (42), yards (902), touchdowns (seven) and yards per reception (21.5).
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The duo joins 74 other players on the Maxwell Award watch list, which includes four returning semifinalists in Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon, Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion, Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty as well as a 2013 finalist in Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston.
Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron was the Maxwell Award winner last season.
This year's semifinalists will be announced Nov. 3 and the three finalists will be revealed Nov. 24.
The winner will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Dec. 11. The formal presentation of the award will take place March 6, 2015, in Atlantic City, N.J. during the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala.