Four Hoosiers receive preseason football honors


Junior quarterback Richard Lagow attempts a pass during IU’s game against Rutgers Saturday. Lagow threw for 394 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions in IU’s 33-27 win. Coutesy Photo: Dimitri Rodriguez and Coutesy Photo: Dimitri Rodriguez Buy Photos

The preseason awards watch lists for college football continue to be released as four more Hoosiers were honored this week.

IU junior wide receiver Nick Westbrook is on the 2017 Biletnikoff Award watch list, announced Tuesday by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation. The Biletnikoff Award annually recognizes the most outstanding receiver in college football.

College Football Hall of Famer and former Heisman Trophy winner, Desmond Howard, will present this award to the winner December 7 at The Home Depot College Football Awards Show on ESPN. The list will be cut to 10 semifinalists November 13.

Westbrook was a 2016 honorable mention All-Big Ten selection. He caught 54 passes for 995 yards and hauled in six touchdowns last season for the Hoosiers. His 995 yards were good enough for second in the Big Ten and ranks No. 7 on IU’s single-season list.

Redshirt senior cornerback Rashard Fant was also added to a watch list Tuesday. Fant earned himself a place on the 2017 Wueffel Trophy watch list, known as “College Football’s Premier Award for Community Service.”

It’s been a very busy preseason for Fant as this is the fourth watch list he’s been named to this year. He has already been named to the Jim Thorpe, Bronko Nagurski and the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.

Fant has helped with different organizations during his time at IU including Read Across America, Camp Riley, the IU Doin’ It Right program along with many others. Fant also enters the 2017 season as the NCAA active career leader and IU’s all-time leader with 48 passes defended and 44 pass breakups.

The most recent player to be added to a watch list this preseason is fifth-year senior quarterback Richard Lagow, who was selected for the 2017 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award watch list Wednesday. This award is given out at the end of the football season December 8, but The Golden Arm Award committee will announce the top 15 finalists sometime in September.

Lagow was selected to the honorable mention All-Big Ten Team and was named IU’s Offensive Newcomer of the Year in 2016. He ranked second in the conference in passing yards per game, third in yards per completion and completions, fifth in touchdowns with 19 and sixth in total offense per game.

Redshirt sophomore running back and return specialist Devonte Williams was selected to the 2017 Paul Hornung Award watch list Monday. This award is given to the most versatile player in major college football.

This year’s Paul Hornung watch list is made up of 45 players from 10 different conferences. The winner and his family will be honored at the annual Paul Hornung Award Banquet on March 8.

Williams is ranked No. 10 all-time on IU’s kick return yardages list with 988 yards. As a freshman, he returned 39 kicks for 784 yards which ranked first in the Big Ten and 13th nationally.

The Hoosiers open the 2017 season August 31 with a home game against the Ohio State Buckeyes. That game will be nationally televised on ESPN at 8 p.m.

Austin Ghirardelli

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