ANN ARBOR, Mich.
– University of Michigan wide receiver Devin Funchess (Farmington Hills, Mich./Harrison)
and quarterback Devin Gardner (Detroit, Mich./Inkster)
were included on the 2014 Maxwell Award Watch List released Monday (July 7). The Maxwell Award has been given to America’s College Player of the Year since 1937.
Funchess moves to wide receiver in 2014 after appearing in the first 26 games of his career at tight end. Last season he was named the Big Ten Kwalick-Clark Tight End of the Year and a semifinalist for the John Mackey Award in addition to earning first-team All-Big Ten acclaim after hauling in 49 catches for 748 yards and six touchdowns. His receiving yards were the highest single-season total by a U-M tight end in program history. In his career, Funchess has 64 receptions for 982 yards and 11 touchdowns. He enters the 2014 season having caught at least one pass in 14 straight games.
Gardner earned honorable-mention All-Big Ten acclaim last season after accounting for 32 touchdowns and more than 3,000 all-purpose yards. He broke U-M single-game records for passing yards and total offense yards by piling up 503 and 584, respectively, in the 63-47 victory over Indiana. He finished the season 208-of-345 passing for 2,960 yards, the second-highest single-season total in U-M history, and 21 touchdowns and rushed 165 times for 483 yards and 11 touchdowns. In his career, Gardner, who has graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Afro-American and American studies and is currently enrolled in the Master of Social Work Program, is 301-of-504 passing for 4,440 yards and 34 touchdowns. He also has rushed for 658 yards and 20 touchdowns on 244 carries and caught 17 passes for 268 yards and four touchdowns.
Funchess and Gardner are two of 10 from the Big Ten on the watch list, and Michigan’s two selections are tied for the most of any Big Ten school.
Semifinalists for the Maxwell Award will be announced Nov. 3, with the three finalists unveiled Nov. 24. The winner will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show broadcast live on ESPN on Dec. 11.