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Several Chippewas named to preseason watchlists, All-MAC teams


Central Michigan linebacker Troy Brown intercepts a pass against Bowling Green Oct. 19 Doyt L. Perry Stadium in Bowling Green.

Three Central Michigan football players were named to watchlists for annual college football awards. 

Juniors Troy Brown, Kalil Pimpleton and Kobe Lewis were all named to award watchlists and have been recognized as top players in the Mid-American Conference by national publications. 

Here are the Chippewas who were named to award watchlists:

Bednarik Award

Brown was named to the watchlist for the Bednarik Award, which annually awards the nation's best linebacker. 

In 2019, Brown had a breakout season totaling 91 tackles (75 solo) and 16.5 tackles for loss for a total of 43 yards lost. He also notched a sack in the Chippewas' 42-16 Week 6 victory over Eastern Michigan.

From his linebacker spot, Brown intercepted three passes last year — against New Mexico State, Bowling Green and Ball State, all Chippewa victories — and he recovered a fumble. 

Ball State's Antonio Phillips, Buffalo's Taylor Riggins and Miami (Ohio)'s Sterling Weatherford were the other representatives from the MAC on the watchlist. 

Biletnikoff Award

After he earned First Team All-MAC honors last season, Pimpleton was named to the Biletnikoff Award watchlist. 

The Biletnikoff Award recognizes the best wide receiver in the country annually. 

Central Michigan wide receiver Kalil Pimpleton gestures for a first down against Northern Illinois Nov. 2 at Kelly/Shorts Stadium. 

Pimpleton led the league in catches (82) and receiving yards (894) and scored six touchdowns while appearing in all 14 games last season. Pimpleton's longest reception of the season was an 80-yard touchdown against Eastern Michigan. 

Last season, Pimpleton took seven carries for 81 yards with a long of 32 yards coming against Toledo in the regular season finale. 

Pimpleton was also utilized as a punt returner last season, taking First Team All-MAC honors there, too. He returned 24 punts for 208 yards, with a long of 40 coming against New Mexico State. 

Western Michigan's Skyy Moore was the other MAC player listed for the award. 

Doak Walker Award

Last season, Lewis and Jonathan Ward combined for the first pair of 1,000-yard rushers in Central Michigan history. 

Sophomore running back Kobe Lewis runs for a touchdown against San Diego State in the New Mexico Bowl at Dreamstyle Stadium. 

Now, taking over as the lead running back, Lewis has been named to the Doak Walker Award watchlist. The Walker Award recognizes the nation's best running back each year. 

Playing all 14 games last season, and splitting carries with Ward, Lewis racked up 1,074 yards on 182 carries and 12 touchdowns last season. His longest rush was a 75-yard touchdown against Northern Illinois.

While filling in for Ward, who missed two games with a shoulder injury, Lewis amassed 146 yards and three touchdowns against Akron in Week 3, a 45-24 victory for CMU. 

Bowling Green's Andrew Clair, Ball State's Caleb Huntley, Toledo's Bryant Koback, Buffalo's Kevin Marks and Jaret Patterson were other MAC tailbacks named to the watchlist. 

Phil Steele All-conference teams

A total of 10 Chippewas were named to the Phil Steele All-MAC teams, including two on the first team. 

Pimpleton and Brown were named to Phil Steele's preseason First Team All-MAC team.

Lewis, wide receiver JaCorey Sullivan, defensive tackle Robi Stewart and defensive end LaQuan Johnson were named to the All-MAC second team. Offensive tackle Luke Goedeke, offensive guard Derek Smith and Devonni Reed made the third team. 

Brian Edwards, who sat out last season due to transfer rules after transferring from Florida, was named to the fourth team.