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If there is any need for proof that expectations are sky-high for the SMU Mustangs football team this year, just take a look at all the players that are on Watch Lists for some of the top awards in the country. Both the offensive and defensive side of the ball have garnered much attention and praise; senior Taylor Thompson, one of the main leaders of the defense, has now been nominated to his third Watch List.

Thompson is one of 35 pre-season candidates for the 2011 Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award. He is also on the Watch Lists for the Nagurski and Lombardi Awards as well. Last season, Thompson was named All-Conference USA First Team and is a member of the pre-season All-Conference USA team as well.

The Ted Hendricks Foundation, which hands out the award, looks for on-field performance, exceptional winning attitude, leadership abilities, contributions to the school and community and academic preparedness as just a few of its criteria in naming the winner.

Thompson is one of four C-USA players nominated for the award. Vinny Curry (Marshall), Cory Dorris (Tulsa), Cordarro Law (Southern Miss) also represent the conference. The Mustangs play their first game on the road against the Texas A&M Aggies on September 4.

Stats courtesy of smumustangs.com.

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