Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph was named to the watch list for the Maxwell Award and defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah named to the 21st annual Chuck Bednarik Award list.
The Maxwell Award has been given to America’s College Player of the Year since 1937, and the Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995.
Rudolph, a sophomore from Rock Hill, S.C., was ticketed for a redshirt last season until an injury to Daxx Garman thrust him into the starting lineup in week 11 at No. 6 Baylor. He responded by turning in the most passing yards ever for an Oklahoma State player in his first game (281) and then led the Cowboys to the second-largest fourth-quarter come-from-behind victory in school history as part of their 38-35 overtime win over the No. 18 Sooners in Norman.
He closed the season by quarterbacking the Cowboys to a Cactus Bowl win over Washington, turning in his best outing of the year with 299 passing yards (the most ever for a Cowboy freshman in a bowl game) and two touchdowns.
With a breakout season of his own last year, Ogbah became the first OSU player to be recognized as Big 12 defensive lineman of the year, was a first-team all-Big 12 honoree by the Associated Press and the coaches and was chosen as the team’s 2014 defensive most valuable player by the OSU coaches.
Ogbah, a junior out of Houston, finished the season third in the Big 12 and 24th nationally in tackles for loss per game (1.3) and second in the Big 12 and 15th nationally in sacks per game (0.85).
He recorded 5.5 tackles for loss in the Cowboys’ win at Kansas, which set an OSU single-game record and was the most tackles for any player in the country in a single game last season.
He also enjoyed a breakthrough performance on a national stage to open 2014 when he had six tackles, two sacks, two tackles for loss and two pass-breakups against top-ranked Florida State.
The athletic defensive end produced a stretch last season where he recorded at least one sack in six consecutive games.