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Many UNC Players Make Watch List for Award You've Never Heard Of

I generally avoid all the preseason announcements for football awards. It's an honor for the players that they're a semifinalist, or make the watch list, or whatever else the press release says, but I find the whole thing rather silly, as if the committees are throwing up their hands and saying "We just don't have time to look at everybody – can we just agree these are the people we'll pay attention and move on?"

But here comes the ridiculously named Pony Express Award, named for and created by Craig James and Eric Dickerson, and intended to "look at two- and three-player tandems from across the nation, ultimately honoring the combination whose work ethic, desire, on- and off-field leadership and playmaking ability best fuel their team." Vague! Especially since unlike the award's namesakes, the potential winners won't be just backfield pairs, but any duo or trio who play on the field can be connected to one another. Hence nominations for linebacker pairs Zach Brown and Kevin Reddick, wide receivers Dwight Jones and Erik Highsmith, and assorted defensive linemen Donte Paige-Moss, Quinton Coples, and Tydreke Powell. Since the nominations also include QB, RB, and WR trios (let's reward the flashy offense players!) and QB, WR, and TE trios (why not?) UNC's pairings make a little more sense than most at least. Anyway, congratulations. Presumably the award will not come with shoeboxes of cash.

As an uninteresting aside, according to his Wikipedia article the first person to tackle James in the NFL was UNC legend Lawrence Taylor.