Barkley among four Trojans named to Maxwell Award watch list

Senior quarterback Matt Barkley, sophomore wide receiver Marqise Lee, senior tailback Curtis McNeal and junior wide receiver Robert Woods have been named to the Maxwell Award watch list, the Maxwell Football Club announced Monday.

The four USC players named to the list is more than any other school. Arkansas, Clemson and Oklahoma each have three players.

The Trojans’ quartet finished with record-setting performances a season ago. Barkley tossed 39 touchdown passes, a Pac-12 record. Lee was named the conference’s Co-Offensive Player of the Year with 73 receptions for 1,143 yards and 11 touchdowns. McNeal rushed for 1,005 yards, becoming the second Trojan in the last six years to eclipse the century mark on the ground. And Woods finished with 111 catches, besting the school and Pac-12 record of 102 set by former USC standout Keyshawn Johnson.

The Maxwell Award has been presented annually since 1937 to the best overall player in college football.

On the defensive side, three other USC players, sophomore linebacker Dion Bailey, senior safety T.J. McDonald and junior cornerback Nickell Robey, were named to the watch list for the Bednarik Award, which honors the nation’s best defensive player.

Former USC linebacker Rey Maualuga was a recipient of the award in 2008.

Semifinalists for both awards will be announced on Oct. 29, with three finalists subsequently revealed on Nov. 19. The winners will be announced on Dec. 6 as part of the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show.