2021 Sooners Preseason Award Watch List

Preseason Award Watch List
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Amid the conference realignment discussions that have dominated the headlines of late, the 2021 season is quickly approaching. Expectations haven’t been higher in the last 10 years for this year’s version of Oklahoma football. The Sooners have 15 total members of the 2021 team who have been named to all-conference teams and award watch lists. Today, we look at the Sooners preseason award watch list.

Offense

Davey O’Brien Award

Spencer Rattler headlines the award given to the premier quarterback in the nation each year. Along with being a preseason Heisman frontrunner, Rattler is also the Big 12 preseason Player of the Year selection as well as being on the Maxwell Award watch list. However, Rattler is joined by fellow Big 12 quarterbacks Brock Purdy, Max Duggan, and Spencer Sanders.

Doak Walker Award

The Sooners preseason award watch list continues with two members of the running back room being named to the list. Kennedy Brooks and Eric Gray, who both figure to share time in the Sooner backfield, were named to the watch list. Gray was voted as the Big 12 newcomer of the year and Brooks returns after the 2020 opt-out year. But, it’s important to note that Brooks is a two-time 1,000-yard rusher in a Sooner uniform.

Biletnikoff Award

Similarly, Oklahoma also has two nominees named to the Biletnikoff watch list as the nation’s top wide receiver. Marvin Mims, who was a freshman All-American a season ago, was a clear choice. However, a bit of a surprise with Arkansas transfer Mike Woods also being named. Woods was one of the best deep threats in the SEC last year and should be critical to the Sooners ability to stretch the field in 2021.

Outland Trophy

Finally, we have the interior lineman as Oklahoma has three nominees for the Outland Trophy. Marquis Hayes and Tyrese Robinson make the list as two of the Sooners most experienced linemen for the 2021 season. But, not to be outshined, Perrion Winfrey was also named to this watch list as well. We’ll have more on Winfrey when we move to the defense for the Sooners preseason award watch list.

Mackey Award

The award given to the nation’s top tight end in the country is known as the Mackey Award. Austin Stogner is the lone Sooner nominated for this watch list. 2020 was an up and down season for Stogner as he battled injuries over the back half of the season. But, his 26 catches for 422 yards and three touchdowns in just eight games should translate nicely into the 2021 season.

Maxwell Award

Lastly, for the offense, we come to the Maxwell Award which is given to the best overall player in the country. The aforementioned Rattler and Mims are recipients of this nomination as well. Rattler threw for over 3,000 yards and accounted for 34 touchdowns in his first season as the starting quarterback. Comparatively, Mims had 37 receptions for 610 yards and nine touchdowns in his true-freshman season in Norman.

Defense

Nagurski Trophy

The Sooners improvement on the defensive side of the ball has been such that there are a total of four members of the front seven nominated for awards. Incidentally, Oklahoma has three of those four named to the Nagurski Trophy. Those are Isaiah Thomas, Nik Bonitto, and Perrion Winfrey. The three additions for the Sooners front seven illustrate the strength of the defense in 2021.

Bednarik Award

Bonitto and Thomas again land here for another Sooners preseason award watch list with the Bednarik Award. Thomas had an outstanding 2020 season with 8 ½ sacks and 13 tackles for loss. Comparatively, from his Rush Linebacker spot had eight sacks with 10 ½ tackles for loss as well.

Butkus Award

The final Sooner preseason award watch list nominees are for the nation’s top linebacker in the Butkus Award. Bonitto lands here as well for his third individual award nomination. But, Oklahoma also has another nominee in Brian Asamoah II. Asamoah led the team in tackles with 66 on the year. Additionally, he had 5 ½ tackles for loss, five passes defended, two sacks, and an interception and a forced fumble each.

All-Big 12 Awards

Finally, Oklahoma has several members of the All-Big 12 team that we haven’t mentioned to this point. These come to us from the offensive and special teams unit for the Sooners. On offense, Tennessee transfer Wanya Morris lands on the offensive line. Additionally, Jeremiah Hall which can play H-Back and Tight End is there. Lastly, Gabe Brkic is noted as the top placekicker in the Big 12 for 2021.