The watch lists for the nation’s top all-around and defensive players added a pair of Red Raiders on Friday as Texas Tech senior quarterback Nic Shimonek was named a candidate for the Maxwell Award while junior linebacker Dakota Allen joined the list of nominees for the Bednarik Award.

Both awards, which are presented annually by the Maxwell Football Club, are among the most prestigious in all of college football as the Maxwell recognizes the most outstanding collegiate football player in America while the Bednarik recognizes the nation’s top defensive player.

Shimonek has shined in his first four starts leading the high-octane Red Raider offense as he is among the nation’s leaders with 1,578 passing yards for 12 touchdowns. Shimonek, is completing an impressive 70.8 percent of his passes with just two interceptions entering this weekend’s tilt at Kansas.

Shimonek is averaging 394.5 passing yards per game, a mark that ranks second nationally only behind UCLA's Josh Rosen. He is also among the national leaders for completions per game (30.3), passing touchdowns (12), and completion percentage (70.8)

Allen, meanwhile, has boosted a much-improved Tech defense since his return to the South Plains. Allen, a native of Humble, Texas, is the Red Raiders’ leading tackler with 35 already this season, including two that went for a loss.

Allen also has an interception this season for a Tech defense that has forced 10 takeaways through its first four games. Tech ranks seventh nationally and first in the Big 12 with a plus-7 turnover margin heading into this weekend.

Semifinalists for both the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced Oct. 30 and then three finalists for each trophy will be released on Nov. 20. The winner of both awards will be announced Dec. 7 during the Home Depot College Football Awards Show on ESPN.

Tech returns to the road Saturday morning when the Red Raiders travel to face Kansas in an 11 a.m. kickoff at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence. Television coverage will be provided nationally on FOX Sports 1. The Texas Tech Sports Network will also carry the game over its 46 affiliates throughout Texas and New Mexico as well as Sirius and XM Radios and the TuneIn app.

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