Despite the fact that there are still a handful of games left to be played, one major award has gotten the jump on naming its honorees.
Sunday morning, the Walter Camp Football Foundation announced that Alabama wide receiver Christion Jones and Virginia strong safety Anthony Harris have been named its FBS National Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively.
Jones was honored for his performance in the Tide’s win over Virginia Tech, while Harris was feted for his play in the victory over BYU.
Below is the Camp folk’s description of why the two players were so honored:
CHRISTION JONES, ALABAMA
Junior, Wide Receiver/Kick Returner, Adamsville, AL/Minor
Christion Jones accounted for 256 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns as the top-ranked Crimson Tide defeated Virginia Tech, 35-10. Jones scored on a 72-yard punt return and added a 94-yard kickoff return for a score – becoming the first Alabama player (since at least 1944) to score twice on returns. He also added a 38-yard touchdown reception.
ANTHONY HARRIS, VIRGINIA
Junior, Strong Safety, Chesterfield, VA/Lloyd C. Bird
Anthony Harris posted 11 tackles (3 solo) and recorded one quarterback sack, one interception, and broke up one pass while also blocking a punt to lead the Cavaliers to a season-opening 19-16 victory over BYU. Harris’ blocked punt and interception set up two UVA scores.
(Photo credit: Alabama athletics)
Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.
Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.
“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”
Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.
You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season? Watch lists are being whittled.
The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior. The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.
The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten. The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).
Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah