Rising Hilltopper Football seniors Mike White and Marcus Ward were named to watch lists on Monday for a pair of prestigious national awards, the Maxwell Award, given to the nation’s top player, and the Allstate American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team.

White, the reigning C-USA Newcomer of the Year, was named to the Maxwell Award Watch List after he led the Hilltoppers to a second consecutive C-USA Championship last season, his first as WKU’s starting quarterback. White was one of only two signal callers in the nation to average more than 10 yards per pass attempt as he set WKU’s single-season passer rating record. WKU finished as the nation’s top scoring offense with White throwing for 4,363 on 280-of-416 passing. His touchdown pass-to-interception ratio of 5.3-to-1 was also the highest among all quarterbacks with 400 or more pass attempts.

The Pembroke Pines, Fla., native has enjoyed a busy summer preparing for his senior campaign which included a trip to the Manning Passing Academy in June. Also during the offseason, White was named by ESPN NFL Draft Analysts Mel Kiper, Jr., as the No. 5 senior quarterback heading into the 2017 season.

Marcus Ward
Ward, a defensive captain in what was his true senior season, received a redshirt and will return to The Hill in 2017 as one of WKU’s top leaders not only on the field but off it as well as a member of the watch list for the AFCA Good Works Team.

On the field, Ward’s 139 career tackles are the most among returning defensive players while his 31 career starts are second-most among all returners on that side of the ball. Off the field, Ward gives back in many ways, including speaking to students at Warren Elementary School and visiting Lost River Elementary School for Read Across America. He has helped deliver holiday gifts to children in low-income areas with his local church and spends time in the Junior Achievement League of South Central Kentucky. Ward also visited the Toppel Family Place maternity unit at Boca Raton Regional Hospital with his teammates prior to the 2016 Boca Raton Bowl.

Since 1992, the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team has been one of the most coveted community service awards in college football, bringing together select student-athletes from all divisions of play to honor their dedication to volunteerism and enriching the lives of others.

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Kyle Neaves
Associate Athletic Director, Athletic Communications/Media Relations
WKU Athletics