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Maryland running back Ty Johnson named to watch list for nation's top player

Maryland running back Ty Johnson (6) has been named to the watch list for the Maxwell Award, a nod recognizing excellence in a player of any position in the Football Bowl Subdivision
Maryland running back Ty Johnson (6) has been named to the watch list for the Maxwell Award, a nod recognizing excellence in a player of any position in the Football Bowl Subdivision (Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun)

Maryland running back Ty Johnson has been named to the watch list for the Maxwell Award, a nod recognizing excellence in a player of any position in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the Terps announced Monday.

The former Fort Hill standout is the first Terp to make the list since Stefon Diggs in 2013 and 2014, and the first Terps running back since Da’Rel Scott in 2010.

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A member of a running backs crew Texas coach Tom Herman nicknamed the “Presidential Backfield,” Johnson ranked eighth in the Big Ten with 875 rushing yards last season, leading Maryland. He eclipsed 3,000 career all-purpose yards as well as 2,000 career rushing yards against Michigan last November, and is entering the fall as Maryland’s 12th all-time in career all-purpose yards (3,287) and 13th all-time in career rushing yards (2,129) and career kick return yards (813).

Though spring practice ends Saturday for the Terps with the annual Red-White game at Maryland Stadium, the preparation for Ty Johnson for the 2017 season will move to other places — specifically the weight room, the practice field for summer workouts and, to a certain extent, the classroom.

The Cumberland native became only the fourth player in the Terps’ more-than-century-old history to run 100 yards or more in four straight games from 2016 to 2017.

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After leading Fort Hill to a shutout 1A State crown in 2013 against top-seeded Douglass, Johnson was the first Sentinel since 1991 to join a FBS roster, which he accomplished in part by mailing 50 letters and emails to coaches.

Johnson will have to wait until deep into his senior season to find out if he’s been named a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award on Oct. 29. If he makes that cut, the top three finalists will be announced Nov. 19, followed by the presentation of the winner in Atlantic City, N.J., on March 8.

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