Pre-season watch lists can be an indication of which players are setting up for an exceptional year. North Texas having two players named to watch lists within the past week is a great sign for fans that have been told they should not get their hopes up this season. Even more significant is the fact that both awards will eventually be awarded to offensive players, an area that UNT worked to re-build throughout last season.
Carlos Harris is arguably the most talented player that the Mean Green has to offer. After earning 1,451 all-purpose yards in the 2014 season, Harris was put on the watch list for the Paul Hornung Award, given to the most versatile athlete each year. Those who follow North Texas football should find this to be no surprise. A season after the team losing the very talented Brelan Chancellor, Harris did his best in numerous ways to provide the Mean Green with an offensive spark each game.
Former recipients of the award include Giants wide receiver and athletic freak, Odell Beckham Jr. Beckham finished his award winning 2013 season with 2,315 all-purpose yards. Harris is accompanied by fellow Conference USA members, Autrey Golden of UTEP and Carlos Henderson of Louisiana Tech, on the pre-season watch list.
Harris is not the only North Texas member that was placed on 2015 watch list. Junior Kaydon Kirby was named on the pre-season watch list for the Rimington award. This award is given to the player considered to be the best center in college football. Kirby is the only starter returning for the Mean Green offensive line. After starting for 25 consecutive games, Kirby will help strengthen a young offensive line that looks to yet again lead the team to a solid rushing season.
Both of these honors are promising signs for a Mean Green team that has not had a favorable season outlook from many. With Kirby leading the charge on the offensive line, UNT could see outstanding numbers from returning running backs Antoine Jimmerson and Jeffery Wilson. A great way to compliment that run game is with a versatile and talented wide receiver that brings a tenacity and desire to win that is not matched by many. The Mean Green just need to figure out who will be able to consistently get the ball to Harris throughout the year.
There may be hope for North Texas.