College Football Awards 2012: Illinois, Northwestern And Notre Dame Prospects To Watch

The Illinois Fighting Illini, Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Northwestern Wildcats all have players named to SB Nation's watch lists college football awards in 2012. See who made each list.

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2012 College Football Awards: Scheelhaase Makes Unitas Golden Arm Watchlist

University of Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase made the 2012 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award watchlist when it was announced on Tuesday. The junior threw for 2,110 yards and 13 touchdowns while completing 62 percent of his passes during he Fighting Illini's 2011 campaign in which they went 7-6 while going 1-3 against top 25 competition.

Illinois was invited to the 2011 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl where they faced off against UCLA and won 20-14. Scheelhaase took home the offensive player of the game honor as he completed 18-of-30 passes while throwing for 139 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 110 yards in the game as well.

Despite the honor for Scheelhaase, new Illinois head coach Tim Beckman has been contemplating employing a two-quarterback system similar to the one he ran in Toledo according to ESPN:

"We're going to put the best players out on the football field that we possibly can," Beckman said during the Big Ten media days. "We just had an opportunity at the University of Toledo to play two guys who were very capable of winning football games. If that's the case on Sept. 1, we're going to do that. There's no question about it.

For more, stick with SB Nation Chicago. For more n the Big Ten visit Off Tackle Empire. For more news, notes and analysis from around the country, head over to SB Nation's college football news hub.

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Preseason All-Big Ten Team: CBS Tabs Three Illini, One Wildcat

Ex-Illinois Fighting Illini coach Ron Zook had many faults, but if there's one positive thing to say about him, it's that he had no trouble bringing defensive talent to Champaign. The Illini have had a defensive lineman picked in the first round of the NFL for two years running, but the defense is still expected to be loaded in 2012.

That is reflected in CBSSports.com's Preseason All-Big Ten Team, which was released on Monday morning and features three Illini. Two of the Illini highlighted by CBS come from the defensive line: DE Michael Buchanan and DT Akeem Spence. As pointed out by CBS' Tom Fornelli, Buchanan played in the shadow of Whitney Mercilus last season but finished the year with 7.5 sacks and 64 tackles. Fornelli, meanwhile, praised Spence for being a key cog in the middle of an Illinois defense that is expected to be one of the tops in the Big Ten.

The third Illini member picked by CBS is linebacker Jonathan Brown, who may be the best of the bunch. As a sophomore last season, Brown finished with 108 tackles (19.5 for a loss), six sacks, a pick, a force fumble and four deflections.

The Illini weren't alone when it came to the state of Illinois, though. Northwestern Wildcats safety Ibraheim Campbell was highlighted, as well. As a freshman in 2011, Campbell racked up 100 tackles to go along with two interceptions and four passes broken up.

For more, stick with SB Nation Chicago. For more news, notes and analysis from around the country, head over to SB Nation's college football news hub.

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College Football Awards 2012: Walter Camp Watch List Features A Pair Of Irish Players

The Walter Camp Football Foundation released their 2012 Walter Camp Player of the Year Watch List on Friday afternoon, and a pair of Notre Dame Fighting Irish seniors landed on the prestigious roster.

Both TE Tyler Eifert and LB Manti Te'o proved eligible for the award, given annually to the top collegiate football player in the nation. In 2011, QB Andrew Luck won the award, and other past recipients include RB Marcus Allen and WR Larry Fitzgerald.

Notre Dame Finalists for 2012 Walter Camp Award

PlayerYearPos.School
Tyler Eifert senior TE Notre Dame #
Manti Te’o senior LB Notre Dame *

For more, stick with SB Nation Chicago. For more on Notre Dame visit One Foot Down and for more on the Big Ten visit Off Tackle Empire. For more news, notes and analysis from around the country, head over to SB Nation's college football news hub.

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College Football Awards 2012: Nathan Scheelhaase Named To Davey O'Brien Watch List

Illinois Fighting Illini quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase is for all intents and purposes, the team's offense. In 2011 he completed 63% of his passes, throwing for 2,110 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also lead the team in rushing, gaining 624 yards on the ground and totally six more touchdowns. That production has gotten him noticed on a national level, as he's been named to the 2012 Davey O'Brien Award watch list. The award is given out to the season's top quarterback.

Scheelhaase will definitely have to kick his play up to another level if he's going to make subsequent iterations of this list. He will also have to adjust to the offense of new offensive coordinator Billy Gonzalez, who comes over from LSU.

Scheelhaase was one of five Big 10 quarterbacks named to the watch list.

For more, stick with SB Nation Chicago. For more news, notes and analysis from around the country, head over to SB Nation's college football news hub.


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College Football Awards 2012: Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List Includes 3 Notre Dame, 3 Illinois Players

The latest college football awards watch list to come out, the 2012 Rotary Lombardi Award, features a number of local athletes. Three players from the Notre Dame Fighting Irish -- all offensive lineman -- and three players from the Illinois Fighting Illini -- all from the defensive side of the ball -- earned a spot on the prestigious watch list.

The Lombardi Award goes annually to the nation's top lineman or linebacker from the preceding NCAA football season. Here is a look at the local entrants for the 2012 award, with highlights courtesy of Yahoo!:

PlayerPositionUniversityPlayer Highlights
Jonathan Brown LB Illinois 2nd team All-Big 10 (media), honorable mention All-Big 10 (coaches)
Michael Buchanan DE Illinois 2nd team All-Big 10, finished year with 13.5 tackles for a loss
Akeem Spence DT Illinois Nose tackle who is 2nd leading returning tackler for Illini defense
Braxston Cave C Notre Dame The foundation of the Irish line, must overcome injuries from 2011
Tyler Eifert TE Notre Dame Thought by many to be the clear cut best tight end in the nation
Zack Martin OT Notre Dame Voted Notre Dame's outstanding offensive linemen the past two seasons
Manti Te'o LB Notre Dame 2nd team All-American and preseason All-American candidate for 2012

For more, stick with SB Nation Chicago. For more on Notre Dame visit One Foot Down and for more on the Big Ten visit Off Tackle Empire. For more news, notes and analysis from around the country, head over to SB Nation's college football news hub.

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College Football Awards 2012: Manti Te'o Named To Butkus Watch List

Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Manti Te'o is widely regarded as one of the best linebackers in college football, so it's no surprise that he has been named to the 2012 Butkus Award Watch List. In 13 games last season, Te'o tallied 128 tackles, which was tied for No. 16 overall in the country. Te'o also had 13.5 tackles for loss, five sacks and a forced fumble.

Northwestern Wildcats linebacker David Nwabuisi was also named to the watch list. As a junior in 2011, he totaled 84 tackles, with 8.5 of those going for loss. He also had a sack and two forced fumbles. Jonathan Brown of the Illinois Fighting Illini was tabbed as well. As a sophomore last season, Brown amassed 108 tackles, with 19.5 going for loss. He also picked up six sacks, a forced fumble, an interception and a fumble recovery.

For more, stick with SB Nation Chicago. For more on Notre Dame visit One Foot Down and for more on the Big Ten visit Off Tackle Empire. For more news, notes and analysis from around the country, head over to SB Nation's college football news hub.


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College Football Awards 2012: Illinois, Notre Dame Place Several Finalists For Nagurski, Outland Awards

Both the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Illinois Fighting Illini landed several players on the Bronko Nagurski Award watch list, as well as the Outland Trophy watch list.


Related: Full Nagurski, Outland Watch Lists

The Bronco Nagurski goes annually to the league's top defensive player. Former Nagurski winners include Pro Bowlers CB Champ Bailey and DE Brian Orakpo. The local players to land on the Nagurski watch list this year include:

Bronco Nagurski Award Watch List

  • DE Kapron Lewis-Moore, Notre Dame
  • LB Manti Te'o, Notre Dame
  • LB Jonathan Brown, Illinois
  • DE Michael Buchanan, Illinois

The Outland Trophy is awarded each year to the nation's top offensive lineman. Past winners include Bears lineman OT Gabe Carimi and OT Orlando Pace. Here is a look at the Outland watch list:

Outland Trophy Watch List

  • C Graham Pocic, Illinois
  • DT Akeem Spence, Illinois
  • C Braxston Cave, Notre Dame
  • OT Zack Martin, Notre Dame

For more, stick with SB Nation Chicago. For more on Notre Dame visit One Foot Down and for more on the Big Ten visit Off Tackle Empire. For more news, notes and analysis from around the country, head over to SB Nation's college football news hub.

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2012 College Football Awards List: Center Prospects From Northwestern, Illinois And Notre Dame Are Highlighted

Jason Kirk of SB Nation's college football news hub is compiling lists of players to watch for various 2012 college football awards, and in his latest story on candidates for the Mackey tight end award and the Rimington center award prospects from Illinois, Northwestern and Notre Dame are all mentioned.

At tight end, Tyler Eifert of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish is the lone local prospect to earn preseason recognition for the Mackey award. With regards to the center position, Braxston Cave of Notre Dame, Graham Pocic of Illinois and Brandon Vitabile of Northwestern are all under consideration for the Rimington award.

To check out the complete lists, be sure to visit the full story, and for ongoing coverage of the awards watch check out the SB Nation Chicago storystream.

For more, stick with SB Nation Chicago. For more on Notre Dame visit One Foot Down and for more on the Big Ten visit Off Tackle Empire. For more news, notes and analysis from around the country, head over to SB Nation's college football news hub.

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College Football Awards 2012: Notre Dame, Illinois Represented On Bednarik, Maxwell Watch Lists

The Illinois Fighting Illini and Notre Dame Fighting Irish both had multiple players named to the watch lists for the Bednarik and Maxwell awards.

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