We can now count the weeks until training camp for UConn football on one hand, a sign that the slowest part of summer is behind us and the fall semester isn't far off. More evidence: the process of naming players to preseason awards watch lists has begun.
Sophomore running back Lyle McCombs and senior defensive end Trevardo Williams are representing the Huskies on two such lists. The former has been named to the 76th annual Maxwell watch list (the nation's best player), the latter to the 18th annual Bedarnik Award watch list (the nation's top defender). Both players are deserving nominees based on their 2011-12 seasons; McCombs was the Huskies' most consistent offensive performer a year ago and it wasn't even close. He ended the season with 1,151 rushing yards (the 14th UConn running back to accomplish the feat), was named to the Big East 2nd team, and earned Freshman All-American honors.
Williams, meanwhile, was also 2nd team all-conference after registering a team-high 12 sacks. He added 15 tackles for loss and 43 total tackles for the season.
Turns out, this is Preseason Award Watch Week, which means that we could hear the names of other UConn players, too. On Tuesday, the Mackey Award (tight ends) and Rimington Trophy (center) nominees will be revealed. It's reasonable to expect that Ryan Griffin, who is considered one of the Huskies' best NFL prospects (a list that includes Trevardo Williams), will be among the nation's best tight ends.