Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert is one of 65 players on the Maxwell Award watch list, which was released Monday. The award annually goes to college football’s most outstanding player.
Eifert, a Bishop Dwenger graduate, is joined on the preseason list by Irish running back Cierre Wood.
Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o also was named to a preseason watch list as the senior was one of 65 on the list for the Bednarik Award, which goes to the nation’s top defensive players.
Purdue cornerback Ricardo Allen and defensive tackle Kawann Short are also on the Bednarik watch list.
Eifert is the only tight end on the Maxwell watch list.
The 6-foot-6, 251-pound senior was second on Notre Dame in receptions (63) and receiving yards (803) last season.
He also had five touchdown receptions.
Eifert led all tight ends in the Football Bowl Subdivision in receptions and receiving yards as he broke Notre Dame’s record for the most receptions and receiving yards by a tight end in a season.
He was named a first-team All-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation after the 2011 season.
Wood ran for 1,102 yards on 217 carries last season, scoring five touchdowns. He was the first Irish running back to run for more than 1,000 yards in a season since Darius Walker ran for 1,267 yards in 2006.
Te’o, who was a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award last year, led Notre Dame with 128 tackles last season.
He also had a team-high 13 1/2 tackles for loss and five sacks.
Allen had 81 tackles, three for loss, and three interceptions for the Boilermakers last season. Short had 54 tackles, 17 for loss, and 6 1/2 sacks for Purdue last year.
Semifinalists for the awards will be announced Oct. 29 with the finalists unveiled on Nov. 19.
The winners of the Maxwell and Benarik awards will be announced Dec. 6.