The 2022 Walter Camp Player of the Year preseason watch list was released on Friday, July 29, with UNC Football standout WR Josh Downs named as one of 52 players to watch.
UNC football standout wide receiver Josh Downs has been named to the 2022 Walter Camp Player of the Year preseason watch list, the nation’s fourth-oldest award.
Downs is one of 52 players from 40 different schools and 11 conferences nominated for the prestigious award, which has been handed out since 1967.
In his sophomore season, Downs led the Tar Heels with 101 receptions for 1335 yards and eight touchdowns, an average of 102.69 yards per game. The Georgia native averaged 13.22 yards per catch with a season-long of 63.
Downs ranked fifth nationally and was one of just six players with 100 or more receptions, while also finishing 10th in receiving yards.
Per the press release from the Walter Camp Foundation, “The 2022 watch list will be narrowed to 10 semi-finalists in mid-November. The 2022 Walter Camp Player of the Year recipient, voted on by the 130 NCAA Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors, will be announced on ESPN’s College Football Awards Show (date TBD).”
Downs will have his work cut out for him as just five WRs have won the Camp award – Tim Brown (Notre Dame, 1987), Raghib Ismail (Notre Dame, 1990), Desmond Howard (Michigan, 1991), Larry Fitzgerald (Pittsburgh, 2003), and DeVonta Smith (Alabama, 2020). He would also be the first Tar Heel to win.
The Walter Camp Foundation is part of the National College Football Awards Association, a coalition of the major college football awards. The Camp preseason watch list is the 15th of 16 preseason watch lists to be unveiled. The final preseason watch list, for the Bednarik Award, will be released on Monday, August 1.
The original recipient of the Camp Award is the now-infamous OJ Simpson, who won in 1967 and 1968 for USC. Three of the past seven winners have been from Alabama – Derrick Henry (2015), Tua Tagovailoa (2018), and DeVonta Smith (2020).
The most recent ACC recipient was Louisville’s Lamar Jackson in 2016.