Pitt running back James Conner continued garnering preseason recognition when he was named to the watch list for the 2015 Walter Camp Award. The honor, given to the top college football player, is one of the more prestigious awards available.
Conner making the list is, of course, deserved and expected. But wide receiver Tyler Boyd can't catch a break when it comes to some of the preseason award watch lists (he was named, FWIW, to the Maxwell Award list earlier). As he was for the Biletnikoff list earlier this week, Boyd was again snubbed for this one. It isn't, of course, as egregious as not being named to the Biletnikoff watch list given to the top receiver, but an argument could certainly be made for including him.
Boyd's numbers stack up pretty favorably against the four wideouts on the list:
|Tyler Boyd||78 catches, 1,261 yards, 8 touchdowns|
|Will Fuller||76 catches, 1,094 yards, 15 touchdowns|
|Rashard Higgins||96 catches, 1,750 yards, 17 touchdowns|
|Laquon Treadwell||48 catches, 632 yards, 5 touchdowns|
|Duke Williams||45 catches, 730 yards, 5 touchdowns|
Higgins, and to a lesser degree, Fuller, have pretty good cases to be on the list ahead of Boyd (Fuller, because of all of the touchdowns). But it's difficult to see how both Treadwell and Williams made the cut over him. And want to know something really mind-boggling? Those guys weren't even on the Biletnikoff list for top receiver.
One group sees them as a candidate for the best player, but another doesn't even consider them one of the top 48 receivers? Just shows you how odd and subjective these lists really are.
While the Biletnikoff folks made it known that a player's conduct is part of their selection criteria (leading us to believe that his DUI charges were a factor), it's unknown if that was a reason Boyd was left off here. As I said then, however, it makes little sense to punish a player on these lists. If off-field conduct is a criteria for the award, I can understand that and have no issue with it. But these lists aren't to determine the award - they're to determine who are the early candidates for said award. For that reason, you have to include the best players at this stage, regardless of their conduct.
Again, these preseason watch lists are kind of meaningless and outside of giving players a certain degree of recognition, don't really play into the decisions when the actual awards are handed out. It will matter what Conner and Boyd do on the season this year. Still, it raises a few eyebrows when players like Boyd don't make the cut here.
If nothing else, you have to think that motivation will be a factor once he gets onto the field this year.
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