Northern Illinois University’s Joel Bouagnon is the first Huskie to be named to a preseason watch list this season as the senior tailback was named to the 2016 Maxwell Award Watch List.
Named in honor of Robert W. “Tiny” Maxwell, the Maxwell Award has been given to America’s College Player of the year since 1937. Semifinalists for the Maxwell Award will be announced Oct. 31, while the three finalists will be unveiled Nov. 21.
Bouagnon, who is one of 90 football players across the nation to make the watch list, was a first team All-MAC selection last season as he led NIU in carries (283), rushing yards (1,285) and rushing touchdowns (18). A product of Aurora Christian High School, Bouagnon has 2,026 career rushing yards to rank 16th all-time at NIU. He rushed for a career-high 156 yards and two scores in the Huskies’ 41-30 win at Buffalo.
A native of Aurora, Ill., Bouagnon was selected a preseason first-team All-MAC player by Lindy’s Sports College Football Preview, Athlon Sports and Phil Steele’s College Football Preview. Lindy’s also tabbed him as its preseason favorite to earn MAC Offensive Player of the Year.
One of four players from the Mid-American Conference on the list, Bouagnon is joined by Western Michigan receiver Corey Davis, tailback Kareem Hunt of Toledo, and Central Michigan quarterback Cooper Rush.