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Joe Milton named to the Maxwell Award watchlist

Milton is in a spot to take home some hardware this season.

NCAA Football: Orange Bowl-Clemson at Tennessee Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

The Maxwell Football Club revealed their annual watchlist on Monday, and Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton made the cut. The 85 player list sets the stage for the prestigious award, which is given annually to the most outstanding player in college football.

2023 will be the 87th year of the Maxwell Award.

Milton, now in his final season of college football, is hoping to make the best of his third chance as a starter. The Florida native transferred to Tennessee from Michigan after losing that starting gig back in 2020. Milton won the starting job in Knoxville for the 2021 season, but injuries forced Hendon Hooker into action, and Hooker would end up running away with the job for the next two seasons.

Now we’re back to where we started, and Milton does feel like a different player. He stayed in Knoxville and went to work under Hooker, and the limited 2022 results were obvious. Milton capped a special 2022 season for Tennessee in the Orange Bowl, taking home MVP honors in a 31-14 drubbing of Clemson.

Milton now has a chance to put all the pieces together in 2023. Playing in Josh Heupel’s up-tempo spread offense, he’s going to put up big numbers, which should have him in conversations for awards like the Maxwell. If Milton can bring consistency to the table, the Volunteers will pick up right where they left off last season.