Linebacker Amari Gainer has been named to the Bednarik Award Watch List and quarterback McKenzie Milton is included on the Maxwell Award Watch List, both of which were announced Monday.
Gainer has appeared in 26 games and recorded 134 tackles, including 12.0 for loss with 4.0 sacks, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in his career. The redshirt sophomore from Tallahassee led FSU with 65 tackles last season and also made 5.0 for loss with 0.5 sack, one forced fumble and three quarterback hurries. His tackles production was paced by three double-digit tackle games, including a career-high 12 stops at North Carolina State. He recorded 11 tackles with one forced fumble at No. 5 Notre Dame and also made 10 tackles, including a career-high-tying 2.5 for loss, in the season opener against Georgia Tech. Gainer has been named to the ACC Honor Roll each of the past two years.
Milton is a graduate transfer from UCF who led the Knights to a 27-6 record and two AAC championships, including an undefeated 2017 campaign, as a starter. He is the only two-time AAC Offensive Player of the Year in conference history, finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy vote in 2018 and eighth in 2017 and was a 2018 finalist for the Sullivan Award presented to the outstanding amateur athlete in the United States. The Kapolei, Hawai’i, native has appeared in 33 games and is 630-of-1,020 passing for 8,683 yards and 72 touchdowns with 1,078 yards and 20 touchdowns on 280 rushing attempts, for a total of 9,761 yards of total offense.
The Chuck Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995 and is named in honor of Chuck Bednarik, who is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Maxwell Award has been presented to the College Player of the Year since 1937 and is named in honor of Robert “Tiny” Maxwell. Both awards are presented by the Maxwell Football Club.
Florida State opens its 2021 campaign by hosting Notre Dame on Sunday, Sept. 5. The season opener will air on ABC with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. Season and single-game tickets are available here. Tickets can also be purchased by calling the FSU Ticket Office at 850-644-1830 or by contacting Seminole Boosters customer service representatives.