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Four Longhorns Named To Maxwell Watch List

Tailback Jamaal Charles, safety Michael Griffin, defensive tackle Frank Okam, and defensive end Tim Crowder were named to the Maxwell Award preseason watch list yesterday. You may recall that Vince Young won the award last year.

Photo via TexasSports

One wonders what this list might look like if Vince Young had returned. Besides Young being the obvious frontrunner, you'd have to consider some of Texas' receivers for the list, too. In fact, ESPN's Todd McShay released his list of the nation's best receivers ($) today, and two Horns cracked the Top 25. Billy Pittman was ranked at #10 by McShay, with Limas Sweed checking in at #23. Said McShay of Pittman:

His 2005 numbers (34 catches for 750 yards and five touchdowns) might not stack up to the stats of some of the other players on this list, but underestimating Pittman's talent and impact is a mistake. A big play waiting to happen, Pittman used his track-star speed to exploit opposing defenses for five receptions of 60 or more yards last season. A more savvy version of Pittman could be scary in 2006.

What McShay alludes to without saying explicitly is that Pittman led the nation in yards per catch, an impressive feat. The presence of Pittman and Sweed on the list also highlights the strength at wide receiver that many seem to overlook. What is abundantly clear is that if either McCoy or Snead are able to step in and be even slightly above average, the Texas scoring attack will once again be excellent.

Coupled with the obvious strength on defense, Texas has to be considered one of the favorites to repeat. Boil it down to its essential element and this season comes down to one thing: can one of the two young quarterbacks get it done? Talk about pressure.