Cook, Langford on Maxwell Award watch list

Michigan State backfield represented well on first day of watch list releases

This time last year, Connor Cook and Jeremy Langford were not even the expected starters in the Michigan State backfield.

Now, heading into the 2014 season, the pair is among 74 players on the Maxwell Award watch list, which honors the top player in college football.

Cook, who emerged as the starter a couple games into the 2013 season, wound up throwing for 2,755 yards and 22 touchdowns to just six interceptions. He had his biggest games on the biggest stages, throwing for more than 300 yards in the Big Ten Championship Game and the Rose Bowl – both wins for Michigan State and earning offensive player of the game awards in both.

Langford had eight 100-yard rushing games in 2013 – all consecutive – and was the first player to run for more than 100 yards against Ohio State. His big play in the fourth quarter was key for Michigan State, as he capped victories in multiple Big Ten games with late touchdowns. He ran for 1,422 yards on 292 attempts as a junior.

Michigan State was one of two Big Ten teams to put two players on the Maxwell Award watch list, with Michigan also landing two with quarterback Devin Gardner and wide receiver Devin Funchess.

Other Big Ten players on the list are Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah, Maryland wide receiver Stefon Diggs, Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon, Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg, Northwestern running back Venric Mark and Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller.

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