Taua, Sewell land on early preseason watch lists

Published: Jul. 15, 2019 at 9:20 PM PDT
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A pair of Nevada football student-athletes, sophomore Toa Taua and senior Gabe Sewell, have earned spots on watch lists for the Maxwell Award and Chuck Bednarik Award, respectively.

This is Taua’s first selection to the watch list for the Maxwell Award, which is presented annually to the college football player of the year. Taua burst onto the scene in his rookie campaign, winning Mountain West Freshman of the Year honors. In his first year with the Wolf Pack, Taua led the team with 872 rushing yards and ranked second with six rushing touchdowns. His 5.23 rush yards per carry during the regular season was fifth-best in the league. Among freshmen, his 872 rushing yards ranked 10th nationally. He posted three 100-yard rushing games in 2018, including a season-best 170 yards on just 15 carries at Toledo.

Like Taua, this is Sewell’s first watch list selection for the Bednarik Award, which is given annually to college football’s top defensive player. In his junior season, Sewell led the Wolf Pack with a single-season career-high 92 total tackles. He added another career high with 7.5 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks. He also established a single-game career-high with 13 tackles against Boise State. Additionally, Sewell added two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and two pass breakups to his numbers in 2018.

The Maxwell and Bednarik Awards are members of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 25 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit to learn more about the association.

Semifinalists for the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced Oct. 29, while the three finalists for each award will be unveiled Nov. 25. The winners of the 2019 Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on Dec. 12. The formal presentations of these awards will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Tropicana Hotel & Casino Atlantic City on March 13.

Season tickets for the 2019 season are on sale now – reserve yours today by calling (775) 348-PACK or visit

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