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Oregon Trio Under Consideration for Nation's Top Awards
Release Date: 07/08/2013
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PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Three University of Oregon football standouts are among the top college players in the country added to “watch lists” for awards that will recognize the best performers during the upcoming 2013 football season as chosen by the Maxwell Club’s selection committee.

Junior cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu has been selected to the watch list for the 19th annual Bednarik Award, presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year, while sophomore quarterback Marcus Mariota and junior all-purpose standout De’Anthony Thomas have been chosen for consideration for the 77th annual Maxwell Award, given to the nation’s College Player of the Year.

Thomas was one of seven semifinalists for the Maxwell Award a year ago that was won by Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o.

Ekpre-Olomu led the Pac-12 Conference in passes defended in 2012 (20), tied for the league lead in forced fumbles (6) and was tied for fifth in interceptions (4). The first-team all-conference choice completed the year earning third-team All-America honors.

Mariota earned Pac-12 Offensive Freshman-of-the-Year acclaim as well as first-team all-league recognition after finishing seventh in the country in passing efficiency and leading the conference in completion percentage (68.5), successfully connecting on 230 of 336 passes. The Hawai’i native’s 32 touchdown passes fell one shy of equaling the Oregon school record as he also finished second on the school’s single-season list in total offense (3,429 yards).

Thomas, who previously was named to the Paul Hornung Award watch list for college football’s most versatile player, was fourth in the conference in kickoff returns (24.3 avg.) and touchdowns (18) last season in addition to fifth in all-purpose yards average (135.2).

Semifinalists for both awards will be announced on Oct. 29 while the finalists will be unveiled on Nov. 25. The awards will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Dec. 12.

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