. – Ball State running back James Gilbert
was one of four Mid-American Conference football players who found his name on the initial Maxwell Award Watch List, which was released today by the Maxwell Football Club.
The Maxwell Award, named in honor of Robert W. "Tiny" Maxwell, has been presented to America's College Football Player of the Year since 1937.
Gilbert was forced to redshirt last year after suffering a season-ending injury in the third game against Tennessee Tech. The native of Indianapolis, Indiana, scored a touchdown in all three games in which he appeared, including two in the win over UAB. Against Illinois in the 2017 opener, Gilbert recorded 17 carries for 74 yards and a touchdown.
As a sophomore in 2016, Gilbert led the MAC with 12 rushing touchdowns and racked up 1,332 rushing yards, the fourth most in a single season by a Ball State player. He currently ranks ninth on the Ball State all-time rushing list with 2,147 yards. Gilbert needs 933 yards to move into a top-five spot on the program's all-time rushing list.
Also representing the MAC on the Maxwell Award Watch List were Buffalo wide receiver Anthony Johnson, Miami wide receiver James Gardner and Ohio quarterback Nathan Rourke. Ball State plays Ohio (Oct. 25) and Miami (Nov. 20) in road games this year.
Semifinalists for the Maxwell Award will be announced Oct. 29, and the three finalists will be unveiled Nov. 19. The winner of the 2018 Maxwell Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on Dec. 6. The formal presentation of the award will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Tropicana Hotel & Casino Atlantic City on March 8, 2019.
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