Michigan football teammates Denard Robinson and Fitz Toussaint make Maxwell Award watch list
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
And more than a month before the season kicks off, the Wolverine backfield duo has already received national notoriety.
Both Robinson and Toussaint were named to the 2012 Maxwell Award watch list Monday, putting their names in preseason contention for an award that goes to the most outstanding college football player in America.
The Michigan senior quarterback and junior running back were among 65 players to make the first cut for the award.
The Maxwell list will be trimmed to semifinalists on Oct. 29 and will eventually be awarded on Dec. 6 as part of ESPN's College Football Awards show.
The last Michigan player to win the Maxwell Award was Desmond Howard in 1991. Tom Harmon also won the honor in 1940.
Generally considered the most prestigious non-Heisman Trophy college football award, the Maxwell went to Stanford's Andrew Luck last season. Former Auburn signal-caller Cam Newton won the honor in 2010, while ex-Texas quarterback Colt McCoy took it home in 2009.
Robinson threw for 2,173 yards last season and ran for 1,176. He accounted for 36 total touchdowns and also threw 15 interceptions. Currently, the Michigan signal caller is listed as an 11-to-2 favorite to win the 2012 Heisman Trophy by noted sports betting site Bovada.com.
Toussaint, meanwhile, ran for 1,041 yards and nine touchdowns in 2011. He became the first Michigan running back to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark since Mike Hart in 2007.
Also last season, Toussaint and Robinson became the first Michigan duo to each rush for 1,000 yards since Rob Lytle and Gordon Bell did so in 1975.
Other notable Maxwell Award watch list members are Wisconsin's Montee Ball, Michigan State's Le'Veon Bell, Nebraska's Rex Burkhead, Alabama's A.J. McCarron, Ohio State's Braxton Miller and Notre Dame's Cierre Wood.
The full list can be found here.