Five area products made an appearance on college football’s preseason awards watch lists on Monday, almost all of them on the defensive side of the ball.

 

Four locals were on the Bednarik Award watch list, the top defensive honor in college football. Ole Miss defensive end Marquis Haynes (University Christian), Florida defensive end Cece Jefferson (Baker County), LSU cornerback Kevin Toliver II (Trinity Christian), Miami linebacker Shaq Quarterman (Oakleaf) and Hurricanes defensive lineman Kendrick Norton (Trinity).

On the Maxwell Award list, presented to the top offensive player in football, Georgia Tech running back Dedrick Mills (Ware County) was the lone local to appear.

Mills, who rushed for 771 yards and 12 touchdowns for the Yellow Jackets, and Quarterman (84 total tackles, 10 TFL, three sacks), are both coming off of fantastic true freshmen seasons.

Among the area’s sterling Class of 2015, Jefferson and Toliver are looking for somewhat bounceback seasons, while Norton aims to keep his performance on a steady incline.

Jefferson finished with 30 tackles and 6.5 TFL during his sophomore season for the Gators. Toliver had 21 tackles in seven games during an uneven and injury-tinged sophomore season at LSU. Norton had 39 total tackles and 10 for loss for Miami last year.

All three will be true juniors.

Haynes, a senior, is among the top players in Rebels history. He has 24.5 career sacks and bypassed the NFL draft to return to Oxford.