The fifth annual Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award Watch List, which includes East Texans Dylan Cantrell, Jeffery Wilson, Keke Coutee and Parker Braun, was unveiled Tuesday at the East Texas Kick Off Luncheon at Harvey Convention Center.
Christian Campbell, son of the legendary Pro Football Hall of Famer and 1977 Heisman Trophy winner, announced the 2017 group.
Cantrell (Whitehouse) and Coutee (Lufkin) are wide receivers for Texas Tech. Wilson (Elkhart) is a running back at North Texas, while Braun (Hallsville) is an offensive lineman at Georgia Tech.
This year’s watch list includes:
-45 players from all 10 Division I conferences including two independents (American Athletic Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten, Big 12, Conference USA, Mid-American Conference, Mountain West, Pac-12, SEC and Sun Belt; Notre Dame, BYU);
-Players representing universities from 20 different states and 39 schools;
-Running Backs lead the nominations with 14, followed by wide receivers (13), quarterbacks (10), offensive linemen (7) and tight ends (1);
-Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts and Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, two of last year’s finalists are again on the list as well as Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett (from 2015).
A player does not have to appear on the initial watch list to be eligible to win the award. The watch list is made up of players nominated from their respective schools.
The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award was announced in 2012 by the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce and SPORTyler.
“We are fortunate to have a celebrity who exhibits the impeccable virtues that define this award. In addition to being a well-known sports figure, Earl also earned a college degree, married his high school sweetheart, raised two successful sons and still supports the community where he grew up,” said Cindy Smoak, Vice President, SPORTyler.
Campbell graduated from John Tyler High School in Tyler before joining the Texas Longhorns under legendary Coach Darrell K Royal. In his senior year, he led the nation with 1,744 yards rushing and 19 touchdowns, going on to win the Longhorns’ first Heisman Trophy.
He was subsequently drafted by the Houston Oilers where he won Rookie of the Year honors in 1978 and went on to lead the NFL in rushing three times. Campbell earned NFL MVP in 1979 and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1991. He now resides in Austin.
“All my life, all I wanted to do was be an athlete. I kept God in my life and surrounded myself with good people. I am humbled by this award named in my honor,” said Campbell.
The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award will be presented annually to the nation’s outstanding Division I college offensive player who meets one or more of the following criteria: 1, Born in Texas; 2, Graduated from a Texas high school; or 3, Played at a Texas-based junior college or four-year college. The player must also exhibit the enduring characteristics that define Earl Campbell, including integrity, performance, teamwork, sportsmanship, community, and tenacity – specifically tenacity to persist, drive, determination to overcome adversity and injury in pursuit of reaching goals.
The previous winners were: 2013, Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor; 2014, Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU; 2015: Greg Ward Jr., Houston; 2016: D’Onta Foreman, RB, Texas.
The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award Watch List
Alabama - Jalen Hurts, QB, Soph., Houston, Channelview HS
Arkansas - Devwah Whaley, RB, Soph., Beaumont, Central HS
Auburn - Kam Martin, RB, Soph., Port Arthur, Port Arthur Memorial HS; Jarrett Stidham, QB, Soph., Stephenville, Stephenville HS
Bowling Green - Josh Cleveland, RB, Sr., Austin, Del Valle HS/Navarro College
BYU - Tejan Koroma, Center, Sr., Allen, Allen HS
California - Vic Enwere, RB, Sr., Missouri City, Fort Bend Austin HS
Colorado - Steven Montez, QB, Soph., El Paso, Del Valle HS
Duke - Austin Davis, Center, Sr., Mansfield, Mansfield
Florida - Tyrie Cleveland, WR, Soph., Houston, Westfield HS
Fresno State - Chason Virgil, QB, Soph., Mesquite, West Mesquite HS
Georgia Tech - Parker Braun, OL , Soph. , Hallsville, Hallsville HS
Houston - Linell Bonner, WR, Sr., Houston, Spring Dekaney HS
Indiana - Richard Lagow, QB, Sr., Plano, Plano HS
Iowa State - Hakeem Butler, WR, Soph., Baltimore, Fort Bend Travis HS
Kansas - Steven Sims Jr., WR, Jr., Houston, Fort Bend Travis HS
Maryland - Brendon Moore, Center, Jr., Austin, Westwood HS/
Memphis - Patrick Taylor, RB, Soph., Humble, Atascocita HS
Minnesota - Rashad Still, WR, Jr., El Paso, Andress HS
Missouri - J’Mon Moore, WR Sr. Missouri City, Texas Elkins HS/Missouri City, TX
Nebraska - Devine Ozigbo, RB, Jr., Sachse, Sachse HS
New Mexico - Tyrone Owens, RB, Jr., Manor, Manor HS
New Mexico State - Larry Rose III, RB, Sr., Fairfield, Fairfield
North Texas - Jeffery Wilson, RB, Sr., Elkhart, Elkhart HS
Notre Dame - Durham Smythe, TE, Graduate, Belton, Belton HS
Ohio State - J.T. Barrett, QB, Graduate, Wichita Falls, Rider HS
Oklahoma - Baker Mayfield, QB, Sr., Austin, Lake Travis HS
Oklahoma State - James Washington, WR, Sr., Stamford, Stamford HS
San Diego State - Juwan Washington, RB, Soph., Kennedale, Kennedale HS/K
SMU - Courtland Sutton, WR, Sr. , Brenham, Brenham HS
Southern California - Ronald Jones II, TB, Jr., McKinney, North HS; Aca’Cedric Ware, TB, Jr., DeSoto, Cedar Hill HS
TCU - Kyle Hicks, RB, Sr., Arlington, Martin HS; Kenny Hill, QB, Sr., Southlake, Carroll HS; KaVontae Turpin, WR, Jr., Monroe, La., Neville HS
Texas - Connor Williams, OT, Jr., Coppell, Coppell HS
Texas A&M - Christian Kirk, WR, Jr., Scottsdale, Ariz., Saguaro HS
Texas State - Aaron Brewer, Center, Soph., Dallas, Skyline HS
Texas Tech - Dylan Cantrell, WR, Sr., Whitehouse, Whitehouse HS; Keke Coutee, WR, Jr., Lufkin, Lufkin HS; Nic Shimonek, QB, Sr., Mildred, Mildred HS
UNLV - Lexington Thomas, RB, Jr., Houston, Benjamin Davis HS
Utah - Salesi Uhatafe, OL, Sr., Euless, Trinity HS
Utah State - Kent Myers, QB, Sr., Rowlett, Sachse HS
UTSA - Josh Stewart, WR, Sr., College Station, A&M Consolidated HS