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College football's best 2013 players, according to the Maxwell Award list

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The Maxwell Trophy is meant to go to the best player in college football, but its voters have different tendencies than the Heisman Trophy's. Could Johnny Manziel win it this year after getting snubbed in 2012?

Kevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRE

Johnny Manziel won the Heisman Trophy last year, but he's still looking to earn his first Maxwell Award, which is also meant to honor the best player in college football (though it, like the Heisman, usually excludes non-skill players).

Here's the award's full, official preseason watch list for 2013 [Edit: The Maxwell Football Club's originally released list didn't include Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller. He's now been added.]:

Maxwell-watchlist-2013_medium

Last year, the Heisman and Maxwell trophies had the same finalists. Johnny Manziel became the first freshman to win the Heisman, and Manti Te'o took the Maxwell over Manziel and Kansas State's Collin Klein. Manziel, of course, is back, and even if the awards disagreed last year, it would be hard to consider anybody besides Manziel the early favorite for the Maxwell.

There's a bit of a tendency for quarterbacks to win the Maxwell Award, with a signal-caller taking the title for nine straight years after Penn State's Larry Johnson won the 2002 award. Andrew Luck had beaten out Robert Griffin III the year before Te'o stopped the streak. Running backs don't win it often, with Vince Young beating Reggie Bush for the 2005 title, and Colt McCoy topping Mark Ingram for the 2009 award.

Although they're supposed to select the same thing, the Philadelphia-based Maxwell Football Club rarely sees eye-to-eye with the voters for the more famous Heisman. Only twice in the last 10 years has the same person been awarded both the Maxwell and the Heisman: Tim Tebow in 2007 and Cam Newton in 2010. Tebow would win a second Maxwell in 2008, while the Heisman opted for Sam Bradford. Both committees awarded Jason White; the Heisman did it in 2003, while the Maxwell gave him the 2004 award after giving Eli Manning the 2003 trophy.

The Maxwell Award is voted on by a panel including current head coaches, members of the media and members of the Maxwell Football Club, whose president is Ron Jaworski.

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