Preseason watch lists: Arizona’s Cowing, Morgan and de Laura featured

Aug 15, 2023, 10:05 AM

Jacob Cowing...

Wide receiver Jacob Cowing #2 of the Arizona Wildcats scores on a two point conversion attempt while being tackled by defensive back Bryson Shaw #27 of the USC Trojans during the second half at Arizona Stadium on October 29, 2022 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

The Arizona Wildcats are represented on offense, defense and special teams on preseason award watch lists ahead of the 2023 campaign.

The Wildcats are looking to build off a 5-7 season, their best record since 2018. Jedd Fisch is in his third year at the helm, and his program received votes in the preseason USA Today Coaches Poll.

Arizona’s season starts on Sept. 2 at home against Northern Arizona.

Arizona Wildcats on college football preseason award watch lists

Maxwell Award (player of the year)

– WR Jacob Cowing

– QB Jayden de Laura

Cowing’s 85 catches in 2022 led the Pac-12 and were the third most in a single season in Wildcats history. De Laura threw for 3,685 yards, eclipsing 300 in six of 12 games.

Both players enter their second seasons in Tucson after transferring.

“I feel like we barely scratched the surface last season,” de Laura said at Pac-12 Media Day. “I really didn’t realize that (Tetairoa McMillan), me, Jacob and even Dorian (Singer), that was kind of our first real season in that scheme. So we really were learning as we went throughout the season.”

2022 winner: Caleb Williams, USC

Outland Trophy (top offensive/defensive lineman)

– OT Jordan Morgan

– OT Jonah Savaiinaea

Morgan is back for a fifth season after starting 10 games last year. He was an All-Pac-12 honorable mention in 2022 and made the preseason All-Pac-12 second team for 2023.

Savaiinaea is back for Year 2 after joining Morgan as an All-Pac-12 honorable mention last season. He started all 12 games in 2022 as a guard, and he is moving out to right tackle in 2023.

“We have our left tackle, who I believe will be a first-round pick, Jordan Morgan,” Fisch said at Pac-12 Media Day. “(Savaiinaea) and Jordan will be able to do a heck of a job protecting Jayden. We sort of like to throw the ball in Tucson, so if we can protect that quarterback, it’s going to give us a great chance.”

2022 winner: Olusegun Oluwatimi, Michigan

Lou Groza Award (top place-kicker)

– K Tyler Loop

Loop was 18-for-21 on field goal attempts and was perfect on extra points in 2022. He started his Wildcats career as the punter and transitioned into the primary kicker role.

2022 winner: Christopher Dunn, N.C. State

Ray Guy Award (punter of the year)

– P Kyle Ostendorp

Ostendorp is on the Ray Guy Award watch list for the second straight season after he was All-Pac-12 first team in 2021. The Phoenix native started 12 games last year and averaged 45.5 yards per punt.

2022 winner: Adam Korsak, Rutgers

Paul Hornung Award (most versatile player)

– WR Jacob Cowing

2022 winner: Jack Colletto, Oregon State

Wuerffel Trophy (community service with athletic and academic achievement)

– OT Jordan Morgan

2022 winner: Dillan Gibbons, Florida State

Biletnikoff Award (outstanding receiver)

– WR Jacob Cowing

2022 winner: Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee

Doak Walker Award (premier running back)

– RB Michael Wiley

Wiley is in his senior season and ran for  771 yards and eight touchdowns last year. He added 349 receiving yards and three more scores.

He gained a career-high 214 yards with three touchdowns in the Territorial Cup win over Arizona State, 38-35.

2022 winner: Bijan Robinson, Texas

Butkus Award (best linebacker)

– ILB Justin Flowe

Flowe is a redshirt sophomore in his first season with Arizona after transferring from Oregon. He made 35 tackles in 10 contests during the 2022 campaign with some monster games, including a 14-tackle performance that landed him Pac-12 Freshman of the Week.

2022 winner: Jack Campbell, Iowa

Manning Award (best quarterback)

– QB Jayden de Laura

2022 winner: Stetson Bennett, Georgia

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Preseason watch lists: Arizona’s Cowing, Morgan and de Laura featured