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Maryland football’s Anthony McFarland, Antoine Brooks named to preseason award watch lists

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This is the Maryland Minute, a short story followed by a roundup of Terps-related news.

Maryland football Antoine Brooks vs. Rutgers Lila Bromberg / Testudo Times

Preseason watch lists for major college football awards have started to emerge, and Terps on both sides of the ball have been recognized on the national stage.

The Maxwell Award goes to the best all-around player in college football, and sophomore running back Anthony McFarland is one of 31 rushers to make the watch list out of 80 total players. On the other side of the football, Antoine Brooks Jr. was named to the Bednarik Award watch list. The trophy goes to the best defensive player in college player, and there were also 80 players recognized Monday.

McFarland broke out last season as a redshirt freshman in College Park, carrying a plurality of the team’s carries as part of the Big Ten’s third-best rushing attack. On his own, he rushed for four touchdowns and 1,034 yards on 131 attempts. McFarland also hauled in seven catches for 73 yards, showing some promise in limited opportunity. Even with the implementation of a new offense, he should carry a large chunk of the workload once again.

Brooks may have been been lost in the shuffle playing alongside future pros in Tre Watson and Darnell Savage Jr., among more, but he was very successful in his own right in 2018. As a junior, he finished third on team in tackles with 68 — 47 solo, 21 assisted — while adding 2.5 sacks (second to defensive end Byron Cowart) and an interception. With the loss of a number of players to the pros, Brooks has the opportunity to lead the defense and usher in a new era of Maryland football.

McFarland, Brooks and Tino Ellis will represent Maryland at Big Ten media days on Thursday and Fridy.

In other news

It’s Defensive Line Week at Testudo Times, and Thomas gave a detailed overview of the unit entering the 2019 season.

As part of our State of the Program series, Lila broke down Maryland wrestling, which is yet another team in College Park that will have a new coach to start the season.

The Washington Mystics are in the midst of a slide, but Terp alum Shatori Walker-Kimbrough has been a bright spot lately.

And in related news, Alyssa Thomas and Kristi Toliver were named to the WNBA All-Star Game.

Maryland men’s basketball is still working on the 2020 class, and Mark Turgeon reportedly extended an offer to Santiago Vescovi, according to 247Sports.

Former Terps shortstop Kevin Smith (2015-17) has been tearing up the Eastern League in the Toronto Blue Jays organization, earning a nod on the MLB Pipeline Team of the Week.