The start of the Pac-12 Conference football season might be delayed, but the lull hasn’t slowed the annual glut of preseason watch lists.
After Colorado linebacker Nate Landman earned a spot on two defensive watch lists earlier this week — for the Butkus Award and the Nagurski Award — two more Buffs players received similar honors on Thursday.
Senior receiver KD Nixon was named to the watch list of the Paul Hornung Award, which honors the most versatile player in the nation, while junior offensive lineman Colby Pursell earned a spot on the watch list of the Wuerffel Award, which is given to the student-athlete who best combines academics, community service, and athletics.
Nixon is CU’s top returning receiver in 2020 after ranking third on the squad last year in receptions (35), receiving yards (465), and touchdown catches (three). Nixon handled the bulk of the team’s duties on kickoff returns, averaging 23.4 yards on 16 attempts, and he also threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to Dmitri Stanley during a home loss against Arizona on Oct. 5.
Nixon is one of six Pac-12 players on the Hornung Award watch list, alongside Utah receiver Britain Covey, UCLA running back Demetric Felton, Oregon safety Jevon Holland, USC wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, and receiver Connor Wedington from Stanford. He is the fourth CU player to land on the Hornung preseason watch list, joining Donovan Lee (2016), George Frazier (2017), and Laviska Shenault last year.
Pursell, who has started 17 games over the past two seasons, was named honorable mention on the 2019 National Football Foundation/Colorado Chapter All-Academic team. He is one of 13 Pac-12 players on the Wuerffel Award watch list.