Utah State senior quarterback Chuckie Keeton was named to the 2014 Maxwell Award Watch List, it was announced Monday by the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The Maxwell Award, named in honor of Robert W. "Tiny" Maxwell, has been given to America's College Player of the Year since 1937.
It is the second time in as many years that Keeton has been named to the Maxwell Award Watch List.
Keeton is one of four Mountain West players named to the Maxwell Award Watch List, along with Boise State junior running back Jay Ajayi, UNLV senior wide receiver DeVante Davis and Nevada senior quarterback Cody Fajardo. Keeton is also one of four players from Utah recognized along with Utah senior wide receiver Dres Anderson, BYU junior quarterback Taysom Hill and BYU junior running back Jamaal Williams.
In all, Keeton is one of 77 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) players named to the Maxwell Award Watch List, including 34 quarterbacks.
Entering his senior season, Keeton is one of 25 college football players named to the first edition of the 2014 Heismanpundit/CBSSports.com Heisman Trophy Watch List, one of 17 players named to the 2014 Bleacher Report's Initial Heisman Trophy Watch List and a first-team preseason all-Mountain West selection by Athlon Sports and Phil Steele.
Keeton, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound quarterback from Houston, Texas (Cypress Creek HS), was one of 30 players named to the first edition of the 2013 Heismanpundit/CBSSports.com Heisman Trophy Watch List as a junior a year ago but played in just six games before suffering a season-ending knee injury in the first quarter against BYU on Oct. 4. Prior to his injury, Keeton had completed 136-of-196 passes for 1,388 yards (231.3 ypg) with 18 touchdowns and just two interceptions, while rushing for another 241 yards on 55 carries (402. ypg/4.4 ypc) with two more scores. His 69.4 completion percentage broke his own single-season school record set in 2012, while his 18 touchdown passes ranks tied for ninth all-time in school history.
Through his first five games of the 2013 season, Keeton ranked second in the nation with 17 touchdown passes, while also ranking first in the Mountain West and second in the nation in points responsible for (22.8 pg), second in the MW and 22nd in the nation in passing efficiency (161.6), third in the MW and eighth in the nation in completions (26.4), third in the MW and 11th in the nation in completion percentage (.710), third in the MW and 18th in the nation in total offense (317.2 ypg), and fourth in the MW and 25th in the nation in passing (272.4 ypg). Keeton also tied the school record with five touchdown passes in a game twice during his junior year, doing so in a 52-20 win at Air Force and in a 70-6 home win against Weber State.
As a sophomore in 2012, Keeton earned first-team all-Western Athletic Conference honors after ranking 17th nationally in total offense (307.1 ypg), 18th in passing efficiency (154.7) and 29th in passing (259.5 ypg). Keeton also set single-season school records for touchdown passes (27), passing yards (3,373), completions (275), completion percentage (.676) and total offense (3,992 yards), while tying the single-game record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 121 yards at Louisiana Tech.
Semifinalists for the Maxwell Award will be announced Nov. 3, while three finalists will be unveiled Nov. 24. The winner of the 2014 Maxwell Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Dec. 11.
Utah State returns 14 starters as part of 38 letterwinners from last year's 9-5 team that won the Mountain Division of the Mountain West Conference, played in the inaugural Mountain West Championship game and defeated No. 24 Northern Illinois, 21-14, in the 2013 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.
Utah State opens the 2014 season on Sunday, Aug. 31, at Tennessee and plays its first home game the following weekend against Idaho State on Saturday, Sept. 6 at 6 p.m.
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Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.