LARAMIE — The Maxwell Football Club announced its 2020 watch list for the 84th Maxwell Award presented annually to the most outstanding player in college football.  Among the players named to the watch list was University of Wyoming junior running back Xazavian Valladay.

Since 1937, the Maxwell Award has been presented to the College Player of the Year.  It is named in honor of Robert “Tiny” Maxwell, a former standout at Swarthmore College who went on to become a well-known sportswriter and football official.

Valladay is coming off a 2019 season in which he rushed for 1,265 yards to lead the Mountain West.  He ranked 18th in the nation in rushing yards per game (105.4). The native of Matteson, Ill., also led the MW in all-purpose yards and ranked No. 26 in the nation, averaging 124.08 yards per game.  Valladay was a First Team All-MW honoree as a sophomore as selected by MW head coaches and media. 

He rushed for 100 or more yards seven times in the 12 games he played in 2019, and he rushed for over 200 yards twice.  His best games were 206 rushing yards vs. Nevada and 204 against Georgia State in the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl.  His other five 100-yard rushing games included: 118 vs. Missouri, 127 vs. New Mexico, 124 at Boise State, 114 at Utah State and 154 vs. Colorado State.

His 204-yard performance in Wyoming’s 38-17 Arizona Bowl victory earned Valladay a spot on the 2019 Associated Press All-Bowl Team.  He also caught three passes for 91 yards in the bowl win and scored one touchdown rushing and one receiving while accounting for 295 all-purpose yards.  Valladay was one of only three running backs in the nation named to the AP All-Bowl Team, joining Penn State’s Journey Brown and Florida’s Lamical Perine.

Valladay joins an impressive list of names, six of which are returning semifinalists from 2019 including Shane Buechele (SMU), Charlie Brewer (Baylor), Travis Etienne (Clemson), Justin Fields (Ohio State), Chuba Hubbard (Oklahoma State) and Sam Ehlinger (Texas).

The winner of the 2020 Maxwell Award will be announced as part of the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Dec. 10, 2020.  The formal presentation of the Maxwell Award will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Tropicana Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, N.J., on March 12, 2021.

University of Wyoming press release.

Here's Maxwell Football Club's list in full: