Oregon Football: Duck Players Gaining National Attention on Award Watch Lists

Joe PenkalaCorrespondent IJuly 9, 2012

EUGENE, OR - DECEMBER 02 : Defensive end Dion Jordan #96 of the Oregon Ducks looks over at quarterback Kevin Prince #4 of the UCLA Bruins after sacking him in the second quarter of the Pac-12 Championship game at Autzen Stadium on December 2, 2011 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Before the season is even beginning, some Duck players are already grabbing the attention of the media around the nation. 

Today four Duck players were announced to postseason award watch lists, and it really shows how far the program has come. 

Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas got things started by being two of the 65 players to the Maxwell Award watch list, an award given to the nation's best player, and Dion Jordan and John Boyett were both named to the Bednarik Award watch list, an award given to the best defensive football player in the nation.

With this announcement, Oregon is starting to show that, like other top programs, it can reload instead of having to rebuild. After coming off the heels of a season where they lost Darron Thomas and LaMichael James, for the Ducks to have four players on these lists is quite a feat. 

While the announcements are nice and certainly play well for national attention and recruiting purposes, Chip Kelly has kept this team focused through the first three years as its head coach and will not allow for preseason award to get in the way of the main focus: a national title. 

Joe Penkala is a B/R National Featured Columnist who covers college football. You can contact him @joepenkala.