Each week during the 2020 season the Maxwell Football Club will recognize outstanding performances with two weekly awards. The Maxwell Award Player of the Week will be recognized for overall performance on offense, defense or special teams, and the Chuck Bednarik Award Player of the Week will be honored for outstanding defensive play. Players selected do not have to be represented on the Maxwell or Bednarik Award watch lists.
Maxwell Award Player of the Week
Graham Mertz – QB – Wisconsin
Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz has been named Maxwell Award Player of the Week after leading the Badgers past Illinois in the Big 10 season opener on Friday night. The hype has been through the roof for Mertz ever since he turned down offers from almost every major program to play in Madison. On Friday night, the nation got a glimpse why he was a blue-chipper coming out of Overland Park, Kans. Pro Football Focus’ top-graded Week 8 passer had a near flawless, record-setting debut. Mertz completed 20-of-21 for 248 yards and five touchdowns, while showing advanced poise and decision-making for a redshirt freshman.
Bednarik Award Player of the Week
Olakunle Fatukasi – LB - Rutgers
Rutgers linebacker Olakunle Fatukasi was named the Chuck Bednarik Award Player of the Week following the Scarlet Knight’s win over Michigan State. It’s just one game, but Rutgers already looks dramatically improved with Greg Schiano back On the Banks. Rutgers shocked the Spartans this past weekend, 38-27, behind a suffocating defensive effort. Fatukasi, in particular, was a major disruption for the Michigan State offense. Showing great field awareness, he had 10 stops, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries, while earning Pro Football Focus’ top run defense grade for a Week 8 linebacker.
The Maxwell and Bednarik Awards are members of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 25 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about the association.