Barkley, Woods, McDonald named to watch lists

USC picked up three watch-list mentions Tuesday, as quarterback Matt Barkley and receiver Robert Woods were named to the 2011 Maxwell Award list and safety T.J. McDonald was named to the Bednarik Award list, honoring the nation's top defensive player.

The Maxwell Award goes to the FBS' most outstanding player. Former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton won it a year ago before departing for the NFL. It is both Barkley and Woods' first time on the 66-man list; Woods is one of only 11 sophomores present, a list that includes South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore and Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez.

McDonald, a junior, is USC's only Bednarik nominee, one of six Pac-12 players on the list. He and UCLA safety Tony Dye are two of only eight safeties named to the watch list.

Semifinalists for the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced Oct. 31st, and the three finalists for each award will be unveiled Nov. 21st.

The watch lists for the Biletnikoff and Mackey Awards, honoring college football's best receiver and tight end, will be released Wednesday.