How do you know the college football season is right around the corner?
Media Days are underway (the SEC’s monster three-day event begin Tuesday in Hoover,Ala.) and preseason award watch lists are coming out at a rapid rate.
Four Georgia players made watch lists announced on Monday.
One player notable by his absence this summer is Bacarri Rambo.
He’s a returning All-American safety but the senior was left off the watch list by the Jim Thorpe Award (top defensive back), the Chuck Bednarik Award (top defensive player) and the Bronko Nagurki Trophy (top defensive player).
Rambo’s high shool coach said in the spring that he was facing a four-game suspension for a second violation of Georgia’s drug policy, but was to appeal. Georgia has yet to announce any discipline for him.
I emailed Eddie Griffin, the president of the Thorpe Award, to ask him why Rambo was left off the list and if his off-field issues kept him from being mentioned.
“Yes, he was not put on the list because of the multi- game suspension,”Griffin wrote.
He said other players from other schools were left off for similar discipline issues.
“Our committee has used the same process for many years to establish the watch list and determine the semi-finalist and finalist,” he wrote. “Character is a consideration in our selection process as well as being a great player.”
Likewise, Rambo isn’t on the Bednarik Award summer watch list either for top defensive player.
“Our selection committee felt strongly that Bacarri Rambo is an excellent football player but the uncertainty of his eligibility at the beginning of the season, we weren’t able to put him on the watch list at this time,” said Mark Wolpert, executive director of the Maxwell Football Club, which presents the award.
Rambo would have a chance to be on additions to the Bednarik watch list during the season.
Georgia sports information director Claude Felton said the school did not request that Rambo be left off any watch lists.
Rambo was named first-team All-SEC by the league’s coaches last week and is on the ballot for the media league vote this week.
The Georgia players that made watch lists on Monday:
Jarvis Jones: Butkus (top linebacker), Rotary Lombardi (top lineman or linebacker).
Cornelius Washington: Butkus.
John Jenkins: Lombardi.
Aaron Murray: Manning (top quarterback).
Wolpert said that tailback Isaiah Crowell would have been on the Maxwell Award watch list for top offensive player before he was dismissed from the team.
Georgiacoach Mark Richt, who will appear in Hoover on Thursday, addressed what’s left at running back without Crowell over the weekend in an interview with WSB-TV in Atlanta.
“We’ve got some outstanding running backs in our program,” Richt said. “I think we all know that. Some are young, but they’re very talented, very eager to prove what they can do. There’s opportunity now for some other guys to get more playing time then they probably would have. That might be a tremendous thing for Georgia and for those guys.”
–Please follow me at Twitter.com/marcweiszer