Local & State Sports News: Maxwell Award & Nednarik Award Watch List

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace was named to the preseason watch list for the 77th annual Maxwell Award that has been given to America's College Player of the Year. He's one of 76 players named to the watch list.

Wallace is a junior and former JUCO national player of the year.  He passed for 2,994 yards and 22 touchdowns last season.  That was the third-most yards and the fourth-most touchdowns in Ole Miss history.  Wallace also captured the C Spire Conerly Trophy honoring the state's top collegiate player.

Eli Manning won the Maxwell Award in 2003 and is the only Rebel to claim that honor.

Mississippi State senior quarterback Tyler Russell and senior running back LaDarius Perkins were also named to the preseason Maxwell Award watch list.

Bulldogs sophomore linebacker Benardrick McKinney was named to the 19th Bednarik Award watch list given  to the College Defensive Player of the Year.

Perkins was second in the SEC in all-purpose yards per game churning out 125.8 yards per game and became the ninth Mississippi State player to rush for 1,000 yards in a single season. LaDarius piled up 1,024 yards rushing.  Perkins also is in the running for the Hornung Award list, given annually to the nation's most versatile college football player.\

Russell becomes the first player in Mississippi State history to be named to the Maxwell Award watch list in consecutive seasons.  The established eleven single-season school records last season.  He completed 231 passes for 2,897 yards and 24 touchdowns.  He's the school's all-time leader in passing efficiency (136.38) and is one touchdown from tying the school record for passing touchdowns (38), held by Derrick Taite  from 1993-96.  Taite played his high school football at Moss Point.

LSU has three players on the Bednarik Award watch list, defensive tackle Anthony Johnson, linebacker Lamin Barrow and safety Craig Loston.

Marion "Chief" Henley, the former Picayune Carver High head football coach, died last week at his retirement home in Cocoa Beach, Florida at the age of 79.

Henley coached at Carver High in the 1960s and posted 112 victories and only 6 defeats.  Henley guided Carver to 64 straight victories, a record that stood in Mississippi until South Panola broke that record in 2007.

He left Picayune in 1969 after Carver and Picayune High consolidated.  Henley left Mississippi and coached in Baltimore for 23 years before he retired.

Henley was inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 1993.

A memorial service for Henley will be set at a later date.