Another Cougar was named to a preseason watch list. This time the recipient was Michael Yeck, the 6-8 and 292 pound tackle was named to the Outland Trophy watch list. There are 64 offensive lineman named on the list, and Yeck is one of 22 tackles listed for the award. The list will be narrowed down to 6 or 7 semi-finalists on November 20, then to 3 finalists with the winner being named on December 11. BYU has had two previous winners of the Outland Trophy. The first was defensive tackle Jason Buck in 1986 and the second was Mohammed Elewonibi, an offensive guard in 1989. This is the second preseason recognition for Yeck, who was named to Phil Steele's All-Independent second team.
The Bronco Nagurski watch list actually includes two Cougar defenders, Craig Bills and Alani Fua. Bills totaled 78 tackles and 2 interceptions in 2013, while Fua had 63 tackles, 2 picks, and 3 sacks. The Nagurski award is awarded to the best defensive player in the country. The watch list consists of 81 players, and the winner will be named from 5 finalists on December 8. A player from BYU has never won the Nagurski award.
The preseason awards piling up for BYU players show that the exposure and success of the program has led to more national attention by media members and writers. Continued exposure on national television through ESPN and hopefully winning some big games in the coming years could help propel BYU back into the national scene. This is especially important now because of the new 4-team playoff that constitutes the college football post-season.