(via USF Football Communications) - USF senior quarterback Quinton Flowers and senior cornerback Deatrick Nichols, a pair of Miami natives who grew up playing youth football together, were both named Monday to watch lists for national awards recognizing the top players in college football.
Flowers became the second straight Bull named to the Maxwell Award Watch List after a standout junior campaign that saw him join 2016 Heisman Trophy and Maxwell Award winner Lamar Jackson (Louisville) as the only two players in college football to throw for over 2,000 yards and run for more than 1,000, with Flowers became the first player in state of Florida FBS history to do so. USF’s Marlon Mack (Sarasota), a fourth-round pick by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2017 NFL Draft, was named to the Maxwell list prior to last season. Flowers, the 2016 American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year, was one of just four players from The American named to the 2017 watch list for the 81st Maxwell Award, presented to America’s College Player of the Year since 1937.
Nichols, a two-time all-conference selection at cornerback, was named to the Bednarik Award Watch list for the second straight season. Nichols, who has led USF with four interceptions in each of the last two seasons, was one of six American Athletic Conference players named to the watch list for the 23rd Bednarik Award, presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995. Alabama’s Jonathan Allen won the award last year.
Flowers is expected to be a candidate for numerous national awards as he heads into his senior season among seven starters returning from a school-record shattering 2016 USF offense that ranked fourth in the nation, scoring 43.8 points per game and 11th with 511.5 yards per game. Flowers set USF season records, rushing for 1,530 yards and 18 touchdowns, accounting for 4,342 total yards and logging 42 total touchdowns. He completed 62.5 percent of his passes for 2,812 yards and 24 touchdowns against just eight interceptions. He ranked 10th in the nation in total offense per game (334.0 ypg) in 2016.
Nichols brings eight career interceptions, leading all USF returners, and 119 career tackles, third among USF returners, into his senior season. He posted 49 tackles and a team-high seven pass break-ups to go along with his four interceptions last year. The lockdown corner also was big in several late-game situations as he denied opposing teams’ top receivers to end potential game-winning drives. He has started every game at cornerback the last two seasons.