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Florida Gators' Jaye Howard, Xavier Nixon named to preseason watch lists

Florida Gators defensive tackle Jaye Howard is among 87 players listed on the preseason Bronko Nagurski Watch List.

The award is presented annually to the nation's best defensive player by the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club. Every NCAA Division I Bowl Subdivision conference and Notre Dame are represented on the list, which inlcudes linemen, linebackers and defensive backs.

The 6-foot-3, 302 pound Howard played in 11 games last season for the Gators, with eight starts. He missed the Georgia and Vanderbilt games with a right ankle sprain. A redshirt senior, he has played in 31 games as a Gator, including 12 starts, with 66 tackles (43 solo, 23 assisted), 15.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 quarterback sacks and a fumble recovery.

Five finalists for the award will be announced on Nov. 17, and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner will be chosen from those finalists, who will also be part of the FWAA All-America Team.

Howard and teammate Xavier Nixon are among 65 players named to the Outland Trophy Watch List, given to the nation's best collegiate interior lineman.

The Watch List includes only tackles, guards and centers on both sides of the ball. Only six defensive tackles are on the list, with the rest comprised of offensive linemen.

Nixon, a junior, played in 12 games in 2010, with eight starts.

The Outland Trophy winner will be chosen from three finalists who are part of the FWAA All-America Team. Three finalists will be chosen on Nov. 21.

The Outland Trophy, presented annually since 1946, is the third oldest award in major college football. The winner of the 66th Outland Trophy, named after the late John Outland, an All-America lineman at Penn and Kansas at the turn of the century, will be announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 8 on ESPN.

Florida Gators' Jaye Howard, Xavier Nixon named to preseason watch lists 07/08/11 [Last modified: Friday, July 8, 2011 3:15pm]
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