Orlando, Fl – On a cool night after the players and coaches walked the red carpet to cheers and jeers the real show started. The players and their families filed into Atlantic Dancehall in Disney World with great anticipation on the awards that would be given out during the show. It was inevitable that some would leave the show happier than when they arrived and some would leave the show feeling down after leaving with no hardware to show for the trip. After a regular season of blood, sweat, and tears players would learn just how they were recognized on a nationally scale based on their hard work. Below I list the awards and winners and give my personal thought on each one.
Let’s take a look at the award winners that were recognized during the red carpet events.
- Rimington Trophy (nation’s most outstanding center): Reese Dismukes, Auburn. Dismukes is the first Auburn player to win the award – Personal thoughts: It’s hard to argue against a center that leads such a potent rushing attack/offense
- John Mackey Award (nation’s most outstanding tight end): Nick O’Leary, Florida State. O’Leary is the first FSU player to win the award – Personal thoughts: Nick O’Leary has been such a vital part of the offense. He didn’t have the best numbers out of the nominees but he’s still a solid pick
- William V. Campbell Trophy (academic success, football performance, and community leadership): David Helton, Duke. Helton is the first Duke player to win the award – Personal thoughts:
Now let’s take a look at the award winners that were recognized during the show.
- Bronko Nagurski Trophy (nation’s most outstanding defensive player): Scooby Wright III, Arizona. Wright racked up in the hardware category by also winning the Chuck Bednarik Award (college defensive player of the year) and the Rotary Lombardi Award (nation’s outstanding lineman): Personal Thoughts – Wright has been an outstanding defender for his team all season. With his on field production and what he has meant to his team he deserves his multiple awards
- Frank Broyles Award (top assistant coach): Tom Herman, Ohio State offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach. Personal Thoughts – Ohio State is currently on their third string QB due to Miller missing the entire season and Barrett fracturing his ankle at the end of the regular season. Any coordinator that can have his team dominate a conference championship game the way Ohio St did using their third string QB deserves this award.
- Biletnikoff Award (nation’s outstanding college receiver): Amari Cooper, Alabama. Cooper is the first Alabama player to win the award. Personal Thoughts – Cooper has completely lit up defenses this year. There is a reason he was a finalist for the Heisman trophy. He was clearly a top two receiver in college football this year.
- Lou Groza College Place-Kicker Award (nation’s outstanding placekicker) Brad Craddock, Maryland. Craddock is the first Maryland player to win the award. Personal Thoughts – Craddock only missed one field goal this year and had a long of 57 so he was pretty much automatic. Most people, including me, expected Aguayo from FSU to win the award for a second year in a row but Craddock won and it was well deserved.
- Ray Guy Award (college punter of the year): Tom Hackett, Utah. Hackett is the first Utah player to win the award. Personal Thoughts – Hackett has shown consistency in punting all season, helped to pin opponents deep, and get his team out of trouble. The award is well deserved.
- Maxwell Award (college player of the year) Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award (nation’s best QB) Marcus Mariota, Oregon. Mariota is the first Oregon player to win these awards. Personal Thoughts – I don’t think it came as much of a surprise that Mariota won these two awards. He has been dazzling all season with his feet and through the air and led his team to the first ever college football playoff. He’s a great player and one of the best QB’s in the country.
- Outland Trophy (nation’s most outstanding interior lineman): Brandon Scherff, Iowa. Personal Thoughts – Scherff is a tough as they come on the offensive line and has proven his worth. There are so many good linemen around the country so to be recognized for this award is a huge accomplishment for Scherff.
- Jim Thorpe Award (nation’s best defensive back): Gerod Holliman, Louisville. Holliman is the first Louisville player to win the award. Personal Thoughts – Holliman is a ball hawk, he knows where the ball is going and he goes and gets it. He is only one interception away from setting a new college football record so look out for him in his bowl game against UGA.
Doak Walker Award (nation’s premier running back): Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin. Personal Thoughts – Gordon has been electric this season for Wisconsin. He has run all over almost ever defense he has played. He has a rare blend of size and strength that will carry over well to the next level. He was easily the best RB in the nation this year.
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