University of Missouri

Missouri’s James Franklin, Michael Sam added to awards watch lists

Updated: 2013-10-09T22:40:10Z

By TOD PALMER

The Kansas City Star

The Maxwell Football Club expanded its watch lists Monday for the 77th Maxwell Award and the 19th Chuck Bednarik Award, adding a Missouri player to both lists.

Senior quarterback James Franklin was added to the watch list for the Maxwell Award, which has been given to the top college football player each year since 1937.

Franklin has been spectacular in leading the 25th-ranked Tigers to a perfect 5-0 start.

He has completed 68 percent of his passes — 114 of 168 — for 1,407 yards with 13 touchdowns and three interceptions while also rushing for 278 yards and two scores.

It’s been a terrific return to form for Franklin after a tough (and injury-marred) junior campaign.

Meanwhile, senior defensive end Michael Sam was added to the watch list for Bednarik Award, which has gone to college football’s top defensive player each year since 1995.

Sam leads the SEC in tackles for a loss with 10 and is tied for the conference lead in sacks (six). He has keyed the defensive line’s recent surge and also caught the attention of the Philadelphia-based club.

Senior cornerback E.J. Gaines, who has 32 tackles and three interceptions, was already on the watch list for the Bednarik Award.

To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to tpalmer@kcstar.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/todpalmer.

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