DeKALB – When Dave Doeren saw the goal sheet hanging in Chandler Harnish’s locker this spring, the first-year Northern Illinois coach suggested one addition.
“He told me, ‘I would put on the list the personal goal of being excellent every day,’ “ Harnish said. “Every day has to be better than the day before.”
That’s the nature of Harnish’s goal sheet. It’s philosophical over task-driven, generalized over detailed. He says he focuses on team achievement, never giving much thought to awards.
Regardless, with the success he’s had over the past few seasons, award committees are starting to think about him.
Harnish was one of 66 players named to the Maxwell Award watch list on Tuesday, joining the likes of Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, Wisconsin running back James White and Notre Dame receiver Michael Floyd. One of college football’s most prestigious honors, the Maxwell Award is given each season to the player considered the best in the country and is voted on by media, head coaches and a panel of committee members.
“It’s never been a goal of mine to be on a watch list like that,” Harnish said. “The only goal I have is to win the [Mid-American Conference] Championship. ... But I’m very honored to be on a watch list with guys like that and very proud to be able to represent Northern Illinois in the best way I can.”
Harnish was named first team all-MAC last season after throwing for 2,530 yards and 21 touchdowns against a league-low five interceptions. He was also the MAC’s eighth-leading rusher with 836 yards on 137 carries, an average of 6.1 yards per rush.
Maxwell semifinalists will be announced Oct. 31, and three finalists will be revealed Nov. 21. The winner will be named during the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show on December 8.
Not that Harnish will be thinking much about the Maxwell in the days leading to then.
“I remember someone told me a while back, as long as you win football games those other awards will follow behind it,” Harnish said. “If we win a championship, a lot of guys will get their individual awards.”
The Maxwell Football Club today announced Tuesday its watch lists for the 75th annual Maxwell Award. Semifinalists for the Maxwell Award will be announced Oct. 31 and the three finalists will be unveiled Nov. 21. The winner will be announced as part of the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show on Dec. 8.
Name School Pos. Yr.
Edwin Baker Michigan St. RB Jr.
Montee Ball Wisconsin RB Jr.
Vick Ballard Mississippi St. RB Sr.
Matt Barkley USC QB Jr.
Justin Blackmon Oklahoma St. WR Jr.
Tyler Bray Tennessee QB So.
Ryan Broyles Oklahoma WR Sr.
Greg Childs Arkansas QB Sr.
Marcus Coker Iowa RB So.
Zach Callaros Cincinnati QB Sr.
Kirk Cousins Michigan St. QB Sr.
Juron Criner Arizona WR Sr.
Dayne Crist Notre Dame QB Sr.
Dominique Davis East Carolina QB Sr.
Knile Davis Arkansas RB Jr.
Michael Dyer Auburn RB So.
Andre Ellington Clemson RB Jr.
Michael Floyd Notre Dame WR Sr.
Nick Foles Arizona QB Sr.
Johnathan Franklin UCLA RB Jr.
Jeff Fuller Texas A&M WR Sr.
Stephen Garcia South Carolina QB Sr.
Mike Glennon N.C. State QB Jr.
Ray Graham Pittsburgh RB Jr.
Cyrus Gray Texas A&M RB Sr.
Robert Griffin Baylor QB Jr.
Chandler Harnish Northern Illinois QB Sr.
Montel Harris Boston College RB Sr.
Jared Hassin Army RB Jr.
Ronnie Hillman San Diego St. RB So.
LaMichael James Oregon RB Jr.
Aishon Jeffery South Carolina WR Jr.
Damaris Johnson Tulsa WR Sr.
Landry Jones Oklahoma QB Jr.
Case Keenum Houston QB Sr.
Marcus Lattimore South Carolina RB So.
Ryan Lindley San Diego St. QB Sr.
Zach Line SMU RB Jr.
Andrew Luck Stanford QB Jr.
F.J. Manuel Florida St. QB Jr.
Doug Martin Boise St. RB Sr.
Taylor Martinez Nebraska QB So.
Bryant Moniz Hawaii QB Sr.
Kellen Moore Boise St. QB Sr.
Aaron Murray Georgia QB So.
Danny O’Brien Maryland QB So.
Isaiah Pead Cincinnati RB Sr.
Dan Persa Northwestern QB Sr.
Chris Polk Washington RB Jr.
Tauren Poole Tennessee RB Sr.
Bobby Rainey Western Kentucky RB Sr.
Trent Richardson Alabama RB Jr.
Denard Robinson Michigan QB Jr.
Nathan Scheelhaase Illinois QB So.
Geno Smith West Virginia QB Jr.
Rodney Stewart Colorado RB Sr.
Ryan Tannehill Texas A&M QB Sr.
Stepfan Taylor Stanford RB Jr.
Daron Thomas Oregon QB Jr.
Brandon Weeden Oklahoma St. QB Sr.
Ed Wesley TCU RB Jr.
James White Wisconsin RB So.
David Wilson Virginia Tech RB Jr.
Russell Wilson Wisconsin QB Sr.
Tyler Wilson Arkansas QB Jr.
Robert Woods USC WR So.