Three members of the Texas Tech football team have high expectations as they head into the 2019 season as they each earned their names on a preseason watch list over the past week.
Tech’s starting quarterback sophomore Alan Bowman was the first Red Raider to be named to a preseason watch list, according to a Tech Athletics news release. Bowman was named as a candidate for the Maxwell Award on July 15, which is a prestigious award given to the most outstanding player in the nation.
Bowman became the first Red Raider to be a preseason consideration for the Maxwell Award since Patrick Mahomes II was mentioned as a preseason candidate in 2016, according to the release. With the sophomore being named a preseason candidate, Bowman is the sixth Red Raider to make the Maxwell award preseason watch list. Other Red Raiders to make the preseason recognition include Cody Hodges (2005), Graham Harrell (2007-08), Seth Doege (2012), Davis Webb (2014) and Mahomes (2016).
After being recognized as a preseason candidate for the Maxwell Award, Bowman garnered his second preseason watch list mention as he was named a candidate for the Davey O’Brien Award on July 16, according to the release.
The Davey O’Brien Award honors the top quarterback in the nation as Bowman was one of 30 student-athletes to make the preseason watch list, according to the release. The candidates on the preseason watch list were chosen based on their performance last season as well as the expectations the player has for the upcoming season. Only quarterbacks who started in at least one game at their current institution were eligible to be named a preseason nominee.
Bowman was one of four quarterbacks in the Big 12 to make the Davey O’Brien Award preseason watch list as Baylor’s Charlie Brewer, Texas’ Sam Ehlinger and Iowa State’s Brock Purdy also made the list, according to the release. Bowman was also one of six sophomore quarterbacks to make the list of 30.
The preseason recognition came after Bowman had an impressive freshman season at Tech. Last season, Bowman threw for 2,638 yards and 17 touchdowns in the eight games he played in after his freshman season was cut short due to injuries, according to the release. Despite the short season, Bowman was ranked fourth in the nation after averaging 329.8 yards per game, leading all freshman quarterbacks in college football.
In his second start of the season, Bowman broke both the Big 12 and Tech freshman records for single-game passing after throwing for 605 yards against Houston, leading the Red Raiders to a 63-49 win at home, according to the release. The only other freshman quarterbacks in NCAA history to throw for at least 600 yards in a single game were Nevada’s David Neill in 1998 and Washington State’s Luke Falk in 2014.
Following Bowman’s two preseason award nominations, Tech’s junior inside receiver McLane Mannix was named to the Biletnikoff Award preseason watch list on July 18, according to the release.
The Biletnikoff Award is presented to the top receiver in the nation, regardless of position, according to the release. Mannix was one of 60 players to make the preseason watch list for the award as he was a preseason candidate last season at Nevada before transferring to Tech in January.
With Mannix’s name on the preseason watch list for the Biletnikoff Award, a Red Raider has been nominated for the award 14 times in the last 15 seasons, according to the release. Former Red Raider Michael Crabtree was the first player to receive the award in back-to-back seasons after winning the prestigious award in 2007 and 2008.
After transferring from Nevada, Mannix will be immediately eligible for the 2019 season with the Red Raiders, according to the release. In his two seasons with Nevada, Mannix recorded 107 receptions, 1,653 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns.
In his freshman season, Mannix racked up 778 yards and six touchdowns on 57 catches, averaging 13.6 yards per catch, according to the release. Among the freshman in 2017, Mannix ranked second in the nation with 57 catches, earning him Freshman All-America honors by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA).
Following his impressive freshman season, Mannix caught 50 passes for 875 yards and seven touchdowns in 2018, according to the release. He was named an All-Mountain West honorable mention in his sophomore season after leading Nevada in receiving yards, receiving touchdowns and yards per catch.
The final Red Raider to be named to a preseason watch least over the past week, and only defensive player to be recognized was senior linebacker Jordyn Brooks as he made the Butkus Award preseason watch list on July 22, according to the release. Brooks was one of 51 preseason candidates for the award given to the nation’s top linebacker.
Brooks was one of four linebackers from the Big 12 to make the preseason watch list as Baylor’s Clay Johnston, Oklahoma’s Kenneth Murray and Oklahoma State’s Calvin Bundage were also named candidates, according to the release. The last Red Raider to make the Butkus Award preseason watch list was Pete Robertson before the 2015 season.
Last season, Brooks earned an honorable All-Big 12 mention by the conference coaches after a consistent junior season, according to the release. He picked up 84 tackles while ranking ninth in the Big 12 with 7.0 tackles per game and 11th with 7.3 tackles in conference games.
Brooks is 70 tackles away from ranking in the top 10 in program history as he totaled 259 tackles in his three seasons with the Red Raiders, according to the release. Brooks led the linebackers in his freshman and junior seasons it total tackles as he has recorded at least 80 tackles in every season he has played at Tech.
The three Red Raiders will have to wait until December to find out if they will take home their respective awards as Bowman and Mannix will both find out the winner of the awards on Dec. 12 live during the Home Depot College Football Awards on ESPN. The Butkus Award winner will be announced two days prior to the award show on Dec. 10.