Inaugural winner Bryce Petty, along with Cayugaâ€™s Malcolme Kennedy, is included on the watch list for the second annual Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award.
The list was unveiled to grand fanfare on Wednesday during the Ninth Annual East Texas Kick-Off Luncheon at Harvey Convention Center.
The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award, announced in 2012 by the Tyler Chamber and SPORTyler, recognizes the top offensive player in Division I football who also exhibits the enduring characteristics that define Earl Campbell: integrity, performance, teamwork, sportsmanship, drive, community and tenacity; specifically tenacity to persist and determination to overcome adversity and injury in pursuit of reaching goals, said Henry Bell, Chief Operating Officer of the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce.
The award honors Campbell, the Tyler native and 1977 Heisman Trophy winner.
Additionally, the nominee must meet one or more of the following criteria: born in Texas and/or graduated from a Texas High School and/or played at a Texas-based junior college or four-year college.
The 43-man watch list will be narrowed to up to 16 semifinalists and then to four or five finalists.
The winner does not have to appear on the initial watch list and they will be selected by broadcasters, commentators, journalists, fans and former winners. The finalists will be brought to Tyler for The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Awards Banquet in January.
Last yearâ€™s winner Petty, Baylorâ€™s standout quarterback, was not on the first list last year. Other finalists were Texas A&Mâ€™s Johnny Manziel (now with Cleveland Browns), Texas Tech tight end Jace Amario (New York Jets), Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and Missouri quarterback James Franklin (Detroit Lions).
There are colleges from 22 states on the list.
Campbell is a 1974 graduate of John Tyler High School. In 1973, he was an All-American running back who helped lead the Lions to a 15-0 record and the Class 4A state football championship.
He then joined 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 become the University of Texasâ€™ first Heisman Trophy.
Campbell was subsequently drafted No. 1 overall by the Houston Oilers where he won Rookie of the Year honors in 1978 and went on to lead the National Football League in rushing three times. Campbell was a three-time NFL Most Valuable Player and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1991. He also played for the New Orleans Saints. He now resides in Austin.
The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award is presented by SPORTyler, Inc., in conjunction with the city of Tyler, the Tyler Convention & Visitors Bureau and Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce.
Located in downtown Tyler, the nonprofit SPORTyler helps to encourage student-athletes to succeed on and off the field.
The preseason award watch list was selected from nominations submitted by the sports information directors of each Division I school.
Each week during the regular season, an Earl Campbell Tyler Rose National Player of the Week will be selected leading up to the finalists announcement in December.
THE EARL CAMPBELL TYLER ROSE AWARD 2014 WATCH LIST
Jay Ajayi, Boise State, Running Back/Junior
Ross Apo, BYU, Wide Receiver/Senior
Trevone Boykin, TCU, Quarterback/Junior
Michael Brewer, Virginia Tech, Quarterback/Graduate
Malcolm Brown, Texas, Running Back/Senior
Damon Bullock, Iowa, Running Back/Senior
Shane Carden, East Carolina, Quarterback/Senior
David Cobb, Minnesota, Running Back/Senior
Noah Copeland, Navy, Fullback/Senior
Devante Davis, UNLV, Wide Receiver/Senior
Keyarris Garrett, Tulsa, Wide Receiver/Junior
Antwan Goodley, Baylor, Wide Receiver/Senior
D.D. Goodson, Colorado, Wide Receiver/Senior
Treyvon Green, Northwestern, Running Back/Senior
Deontay Greenberry, Houston, Wide Receiver/Junior
Nick Harwell, Kansas, Wide Receiver/Senior
Rashard Higgins, Colorado, State Wide Receiver/Soph.
Nathan Jeffrey, UTEP, Running Back/Senior
Aaron Jones, UTEP, Running Back/Soph.
Kam Jones, UTSA, Wide Receiver/Senior
Darius Joseph, SMU, Wide Receiver/Junior
Chuckie Keeton, Utah State, Quarterback/Senior
Malcome Kennedy, Texas A&M, Wide Receiver/Senior
Trevor Knight, Oklahoma, Quarterback/Sophomore
Shock Linwood, Baylor, Running Back/Sophomore
Logan Lister, Rutgers, Tight End/Freshman
Ty Montgomery, Stanford, Wide Receiver/Senior
Jimmay Mundine, Kansas, Tight End/Graduate
Bryce Petty, Baylor, Quarterback/Senior
Adam Roberts, San Diego State, Fullback/Senior
Larry Rose III, New Mexico State, Running Back/Freshman
Jameill Showers, UTEP, Quarterback/Senior
Zachary Swanson, Virginia, Tight End/Senior
Jordan Taylor, Rice, Wide Receiver/Senior
Jordan Thompson, West Virginia, Wide Receiver/Junior
Jamal Turner, Nebraska, Wide Receiver/Senior
Trenton Turrentine, Army, Running Back/Senior
Davis Webb, Texas Tech, Quarterback/Soph.
DeAndrew White, Alabama, Wide Receiver/Senior
Shane Williams-Rhodes, Boise State, Wide Receiver/Junior
Trey Williams, Texas A&M, Running Back/Junior
Dontre Wilson, Ohio State, Halfback/Soph.
Storm Woods, Oregon State, Running Back/Junior