The University of Miami had four student-athletes selected to the watch lists for the Maxwell Award and the Chuck Bednarik Award, the Maxwell Football Club announced Monday.
Junior running back Travis Homer and junior wide receiver Ahmmon Richards were picked as nominees for the Maxwell Award, while senior safety Jaquan Johnson and junior linebacker Shaquille Quarterman were named players to watch for the Bednarik Award.
The Maxwell Award, named in honor of Robert W. "Tiny" Maxwell, has been given to America's College Player of the Year since 1937. Maxwell's contributions to the game of football were extensive, including time as a player, a sportswriter and an official.
The Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995. Chuck Bednarik, former standout at Penn and with the Philadelphia Eagles, is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame's Class of '69 and the NFL Hall of Fame's Class of '67.
Homer saw action in all 13 games a season ago, but took over starting duties four games into the year and shined in his first opportunity as the team's primary running back. Homer rushed for 966 yards on 163 attempts, averaging 5.9 yards per carry and finishing with eight rushing touchdowns. The West Palm Beach, Fla., native, who was selected to the All-ACC Second Team in 2017, compiled 1,203 all-purpose yards and three 100-yard rushing games.
A consensus Freshman All-America and an All-ACC selection two seasons ago, Richards was a dominant force in 2016 when he set the Miami freshman record for receiving yards – besting the mark set by Hurricanes legend Michael Irvin. Richards saw action in just eight games in an injury-riddled 2017, but still managed 439 receiving yards and three touchdowns. In just 21 career games, Richards has totaled 73 receptions, 1,373 receiving yards and six touchdown catches.
One of the best safeties in America a season ago, Johnson decided to return for his senior season after being named a Second-Team All-America by Sports Illustrated and the AFCA in 2017. He led the Hurricanes with 96 total tackles a season ago, and also tied for the team lead with four interceptions. A Walter Camp Player of the Year semifinalist and a three-time ACC Defensive Back of the week honoree, Johnson has totaled 160 tackles, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and six interceptions in 39 career games – he has not missed a game since arriving to Coral Gables in January 2015.
A Freshman All-America and an All-ACC selection two seasons ago, Quarterman has been a key contributor for Miami since arriving on campus as a midyear enrollee in January of 2016. The Orange Park, Fla., native has started all 26 games since arriving on campus and in just two seasons, has piled up 167 total tackles, 17.0 tackles for loss, 6.0 sacks, six passes defended and two fumble recoveries. He was named a second-team All-ACC selection as a sophomore.
The Miami Hurricanes have had three Maxwell Award winners and one Bednarik winner in program history; quarterbacks Vinny Testaverde (1986), Gino Torretta (1992) and Ken Dorsey (2001) have each captured the Maxwell Award, while linebacker Dan Morgan (2000) is Miami's only Bednarik Award recipient.