NEW ORLEANS -- The 2015 Bowerman Award cycle came to a close as former Florida jumper Marquis Dendy cradled the 35-pound trophy and smiled for cameras at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio, Texas.
Dendy was the second student-athlete of the night -- and first Gator -- to win collegiate track & field's most prestigious honor. Earlier in the evening, former Oregon standout Jenna Prandini took home the women's award. Since 2015 is over -- both in actuality and when it comes to The Bowerman -- let's look ahead to 2016.
The Bowerman Watch List Committee recently unveieled its 10-person Preseason Watch List for the men's award based off past accomplishments and future projections. Read about the 10-person Preseason Watch List for the women's award here.
The Bowerman Men's Preseason Watch List
NAME YEAR SCHOOL EVENTS HOMETOWN
Devon Allen SO Oregon Hurdles Phoenix, Ariz.
Ronnie Baker JR TCU Sprints Louisville, Kentucky
Jake Blakenship SR Tennessee Pole Vault Blacklick, Ohio
Edward Cheserek JR Oregon Distance Newark, N.J.
Najee Glass SR Florida Sprints Woodbridge, N.J.
Jarrion Lawson SR Arkansas Sprints/Jumps Texarkana, Texas
Brandon McBride SR Mississippi State Mid-Distance Windsor, Ontario
Nick Miller SR Oklahoma State Throws Carlisle, England
Chad Noelle SR Oklahoma State Mid-Distance Binghamton, N.Y.
Maicel Uibo SR Georgia Combined Events Polva, Estonia
Also Receiving Votes: Ryan Crouser, Texas; Grant Fisher, Stanford; Sam Mattis, Pennsylvania
Next Men's Watch List: Wednesday, Feb. 3
There are three holdovers from the 2015 Preseason Watch List -- and two of them are from Oregon: Devon Allen and Edward Cheserek. Mississippi State 800-meter standout Brandon McBride is the other.
Allen, a hurdler who also plays for the Ducks' football team, hasn't competed on the track since the summer of 2014. That's because he suffered a knee injury during the Rose Bowl that following January and redshirted both indoor and outdoor track & field. When Allen last graced the track with his presence, he shined. Allen won the 2014 NCAA 110-meter hurdles crown with the fourth fastest time in collegiate history and followed that up with a USATF title in the same event.
Cheserek, a Bowerman finalist each of the past two years, is untouchable at 5,000, 10,000 and added the mile to his arsenal last year. The junior won three individual NCAA crowns on the track in 2015 (each of those aforementioned events) and "King Ches" will likely continue his reign into the new year.
McBride enters 2016 hoping to regain his form from two years ago, where he swept both NCAA 800 titles and went undefeated outdoors in the process. Last year, however, McBride only finished fourth (indoors) and sixth (outdoors), but had a hand in the Bulldogs' 4×400 relay team that finished third in Eugene.
Joining Allen, Cheserek and McBride on the Preseason Watch List are TCU sprinter Ronnie Baker, Tennessee pole vaulter Jake Blakenship, Florida sprinter Najee Glass, Arkansas sprinter/long jumper Jarrion Lawson, the duo of thrower Nick Miller and mid-distance runner Chad Noelle from Oklahoma State as well as Georgia combined events standout Maicel Uibo.
Those seven new additions to the Preseason Watch List combined for three individual NCAA titles in 2015 and several strong finishes otherwise. Baker took first at NCAA Indoors in the 60 meters, while Noelle (1,500) and Uibo (decathlon) each captured national glory in Eugene.
Other male student-athletes who were also received votes, but not enough to get on the Preseason Watch List include Texas junior thrower Ryan Crouser, Stanford freshman distance runner Grant Fisher and Pennsylvania senior thrower Sam Mattis.
By The Numbers: The Preseason Watch List is comprised of seven seniors, two juniors and a redshirt sophomore. … The SEC was the most represented conference with five nods, followed by three in the Big 12 and two in the Pac-12. … To break it down by event, there are two sprinters and two mid-distance runners, followed by one sprinter/jumper, one distance runner, one hurdler, one thrower, one pole vaulter and one combined events standout.