With a rich history of over twenty (20) National award winners including two Heisman Trophy Recipients, University of Miami football players are no strangers to hearing their name called to the podium when the award winners are selected after each college football season.
Still it has been eight years since the last Miami Hurricane won a major award: UM Tight End Kellen Winslow won the Mackey Award back in 2003.
However, it appears very possible that the 2011 season could bring and end to that drought.
The recently released pre-season watch lists or nomination lists have several Hurricanes included among the players identified as potential winners of each of the prominent national awards.
Now we realize that the season hasn't even started and that it is way to early to begin projecting which UM players may have a serious shot at actually winning any of these awards but it is at least nice to see some of the national media and other selection committees paying attention to the potential talent on this year's UM team.
Here is a list of current Hurricanes that have been nominated for national awards in 2011 so far:
Nagurski Award: Sean Spence, Marcus Forston and Ray Ray Armstrong
Bednarik Aaward: Sean Spence and Ray Ray Armstrong
Biletnikoff Award: Travis Benjamin
Outland Award: Brandon Washington and Marcus Forston
Rimington Award: Tyler Horn
CFPA Special Teams Award: Travis Benjamin and Lamar Miller
Ten UM players made Phill Steel's All-ACC list: Lamar Miller, Brandon Washington, Sean Spence, Marcus Forston and Ray Ray Armstrong all made the first team while Travis Benjamin, Seantrelle Hendersen, Tyler Horn, Olivier Vernon and Vaughn Telemaque were also selected.
Two UM players made the Rivals Top 100 Players List: Sean Spence at #57 and Brandon Washington at #85.
Now, let us all hope that these players live up to their pre-season accolades during the 2011 season and walk away with some serious hardware when it's all over. Oh, and an ACC title would also look kind of nice on the shelf if that isn't too much too ask?