Cody Kessler Named Semi-Finalist for Maxwell Award


USC quarterback Cody Kessler was named a semi-finalist for the Maxwell Award, given to the nation’s top college football player of the year.

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Kessler is one of 20 semi-finalists for the award, including Notre Dame’s C.J. Prosise, Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey and Utah’s Devontae Booker.

The Trojan quarterback has thrown for 2,268 yards, 18 touchdowns and just five interceptions, with a completion percentage of 70.4%. His passer rating of 167.58 is ninth in the country this season.

Last year, Kessler was an All-Pac-12 honorable mention and a finalist for both the Manning and Unitas Golden Arm Awards. Going into the 2015 season he was considered a potential Heisman candidate and made the watch lists for several national awards.

Here is the full list of semi-finalists:

  • Devontae Booker, Utah
  • Trevone Boykin, TCU
  • Corey Coleman, Baylor
  • Connor Cook, Michigan State
  • Dalvin Cook, Florida State
  • Josh Doctson, TCU
  • Brandon Doughty, Western Kentucky
  • Ezekiel Elliot, Ohio State
  • Leonard Fournette, LSU
  • Royce Freeman, Oregon
  • Derrick Henry, Alabama
  • Cody Kessler, USC
  • Paxton Lynch, Memphis
  • Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
  • Christian McCaffrey, Stanford
  • Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
  • C.J. Prosise, Notre Dame
  • Keenan Reynolds, Navy
  • Greg Ward Jr., Houston
  • Deshaun Watson, Clemson

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Running back Buck Allen was a semi-finalist for the Maxwell last year as well. He missed the cut on being a finalist however as Oregon’s Marcus Mariota took home the trophy.

USC has had three prior winners of the award, which has been given out since 1937. O.J. Simpson was the first Trojan recipient in 1968 followed by Charles White in 1979 and Marcus Allen in 1981.

Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart were both finalists for the award in 2005, however both were beat out by Texas’ Vince Young. To match that status, Kessler will have to wait until Nov. 24 when that cut is made.

A winner will be declared on Dec. 10.