The preseason award watch lists continue rolling along. As such, a pair of LSU Football standouts are being eyed for significant comeback honors.
The College Sports Communicators published their 2023 Comeback Player of the Year Award Watch List today. The list features 100 college football student-athletes from 67 different programs. Receiver Chris Hilton Jr. and defensive tackle Maason Smith are the LSU Football candidates on the list.
Few LSU Football players have experienced worse injury luck than Chris Hilton Jr. The redshirt sophomore tore the meniscus in both knees before tearing the labrum in his shoulder. As a result, Hilton spent the majority of his first two seasons in Baton Rouge in surgery and on the road to recovery.
Hilton deserves Comeback Player of the Year honors, considering how hard he’s worked to get back on the field. He reported back in April that he’s 100% healthy and working extra to make up for lost time.
Maason Smith is also looking to compensate for lost time with LSU Football in 2023. Smith was lost to an ACL tear during the first quarter of 2022’s Week 1 game against Florida State. Unfortunately, the injury occurred during a celebration that followed a tackle. As a result, Smith’s breakout year and All-American campaign was placed on hold.
Smith was deemed fully healthy in March and has looked outstanding during fall practices. He is expected to pair with Mekhi Wingo and produce the best interior defensive lines in college football.
The 2023 Comeback Player of the Year Award has recognized players for outstanding seasons after overcoming injury, illness, or other circumstances circa 2018. Indeed, the LSU Football watch list nominees are deserving of attention.
Three players are selected to receive the Comeback Player of the Year Award each season. However, no LSU Football player has won the award to date.
The College Sports Communicators, in association with The Associated Press, will announce the award winners during the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl.