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Nevada’s Carson Strong named to the Maxwell Award preseason watch list

NCAA Football: Purdue at Nevada David Calvert-USA TODAY Sports

Nevada quarterback Carson Strong was one of 90 players to earn a spot on the preseason watch list for the Maxwell Award, it was announced Friday. The Maxwell Award is annually given to the most outstanding player in college football.

Strong was one of eight Mountain West conference players to be named to the watch list. The other seven were: Boise State’s Hank Bachmaier and George Holani, Tre Walker (San Jose State), Warren Jackson (Colorado State), Charles Williams (UNLV), Xazavian Valladay (Wyoming) and Ronnie Rivers (Fresno State).

This is the first preseason watch list honor for Strong, although he was named to Athlon Sports’ preseason All-Mountain West fourth team earlier in the offseason. Strong also earned a spot on my list for the Top-10 returning Nevada players heading into 2020.

In his redshirt freshman season, Strong served as Nevada’s primary starting quarterback, appearing and starting in 10 contests. He completed 63.4 percent of his passes for 2,335 yards, 11 touchdowns to just seven interceptions. Strong averaged 233.5 passing yards per game, the fifth-best mark in the Mountain West in 2019.

In the season-opener, Strong’s first collegiate start, the 6-foot-4 signal caller helped Nevada knock off Purdue to start the season in a come-from-behind effort. In the contest, he went 30-for-51 (58.8 percent) for 295 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. On the season, Strong threw for 300-plus yards three separate times and 400-plus once. The 400-yard performance came against Ohio in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl — throwing for 402 yards on 31-of-49 (63.3 percent) passing with one touchdown with one fumble.

The Maxwell Award has been presented to the College Player of the Year since 1937 and is named in honor of Robert “Tiny” Maxwell, a former standout at the Swarthmore College and a renowned sports writer and football official.