Tennessee running back John Kelly is off to an exceptional start this season. And his performance has caught the eyes of those who hand out one of the most prestigious awards in college football.
Kelly was named to the Maxwell Award watch list on Friday morning. The Maxwell Award is awarded to the best all-around player in college football by a panel of sportscasters, sportswriters, head coaches, and members of the Maxwell Football Club annually. And John Kelly has now been added to the watch list for the 2017 season.
Through five games, Kelly currently leads the SEC in rushing yards and all-purpose yards. Kelly has 494 rushing yards on 97 carries and has hauled in 22 receptions for 229 yards. His six rushing touchdowns are tied for the most in the conference, and his 144.6 all-purpose yards per game are the 19th-most in the entire NCAA. He also leads the conference for most 100-yard rushing games this season with three such performances.
The Maxwell Award has been around since 1937, and only one Vol has ever won it. Peyton Manning won the award in 1997 in his final season with the Vols.
Semifinalists for the Maxwell Award will be announced on October 30th, and three finalists will be announced on November 20th. The winner of the 2017 Maxwell Award will be announced on December 7th.