As college football watch list season rounds into its second day on Tuesday, two more Bruins were chosen to their respective positions’ watch lists.
Redshirt junior center Jake Brendel was named to the watch list for the Rimington Trophy, awarded to the nation’s top collegiate center. He started all 13 games at center last year for the Bruins, earning All-Pac-12 honorable mention, and he has made 27 consecutive starts overall for the program.
Five other Pac-12 centers – one each from Arizona, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford and Washington – were named to the 66-player watch list too.
Also, sophomore wide receiver Thomas Duarte earned a spot on the 38-player Mackey Award watch list. The award recognizes the nation’s most outstanding tight end.
The growing sentiment around the program is that Duarte seems poised for a breakout year. He added more weight to benefit his play on the field this past offseason – during spring football he measured in at 6-foot-3-inches, 228 pounds – and said he has developed a better understanding of the game.
“(I feel) a lot faster, a lot bigger, a lot stronger, to be honest, I just feel like a different player,” Duarte said during spring football in April. “Mentally, my game has stepped up due to the coaches, spending time in their offices, watching film, just elevating my mental game so that my physical game can match that.”
Last season, Duarte notched 16 receptions for 214 yards and three touchdowns.
Five other Pac-12 tight ends – two from Oregon, and one each from Arizona State, Oregon State and USC – were also named to the Mackey Award watch list.
Compiled by Chris Kalra, Bruin Sports senior staff.