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Spencer Sanders Named to Maxwell Watch List for College Football’s Most Outstanding Player

Sanders is one of 85 on the preseason list.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

The preseason accolades keep rolling in for Cowboy quarterback Spencer Sanders.

Sanders is one of 85 on the Maxwell Award’s preseason watch list. The Maxwell is given out annually to college football’s most outstanding player. If Sanders were to win the award, he’d join another Sanders as the only players in Oklahoma State’s history to obtain the hardware.

“Spencer has been fantastic for us,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said last week. “He has now become a magician in our offense. He knows it. He can run it fast. He understands. The middle toward the end of last year he started to make really quality decisions in a short amount of time, which is very important in quarterback play in our opinion.

“He’s tough. He’s humble. He doesn’t worry about something that he might not have. There’s times that we put him on the field and we were beat up in the offensive line. Never said a word about it. There’s times we put him out there and he was playing with true freshmen at wide receivers. Never said a word about it.”

Entering his fourth season as the Cowboys’ starter, Sanders has thrown for 6,911 yards and 50 touchdowns while rushing for another 1,565 yards and 10 scores during his career.

He was named the All-Big 12 First Team quarterback last season after leading the Cowboys to the Big 12 championship game and finishing the year with 2,839 passing yards, 668 rushing yards and 26 total touchdowns. He was also named the Fiesta Bowl’s offensive MVP after OSU’s dramatic comeback win in which Sanders had 496 total yards and four touchdowns.

His reign of acknowledgments from the end of last season has spilled into this preseason, as Sanders was named preseason All-Big 12 quarterback. And it likely won’t stop here.

“I try to focus on just getting better every day,” Sanders said at Big 12 Media Days last week. “Like I’ve been saying all day today, this offseason I’ve been focused a lot just on leadership. Mentally, it’s just bringing those younger guys up because their confidence isn’t too high right now. They’re making a couple of mistakes here and there and there’s no point to get down on themselves. They’re young, so my objective right now is just keeping a smile on their faces, keeping them in the best mood so they can just play at the best of their abilities and play with a smile on their face and just have fun. They’re here for a reason. They love to play this game.”

Semifinalists for the Maxwell Award will be named Nov. 1, and the three finalists will be announced Nov. 22 before the winner is named Dec. 8.

Sanders is one of eight Big 12 players on the preseason watch list, joining Iowa State WR Xavier Hutchinson, Kansas State RB Deuce Vaughn, Oklahoma QB Dillon Gabriel, TCU WR Quentin Johnston, Texas RB Bijan Robinson, Texas WR Xavier Worthy and West Virginia QB JT Daniels.

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