Last year’s winner and the front-runner for it this season headline the finalists for one of the most prestigious awards in all of college football.
The Walter Camp Foundation on Wednesday announced the five finalists for the 2017 version of its Player of the Year Award. There are a pair of quarterbacks — Louisville’s Lamar Jackson, Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield — as well as a trio of running backs — Penn State’s Saquon Barkley, Stanford’s Bryce Love, San Diego State’s Rashad Penny — in the mix for the award.
Mayfield is considered the runaway favorite for this year’s Heisman Trophy, while Jackson, last year’s Heisman winner, also won the 2016 Camp Award. Mayfield and Penny are seniors, the others juniors.
Below are the pertinents for each of the five finalists:
SAQUON BARKLEY – PENN STATE – JUNIOR
Barkley ranks second in the nation in all-purpose yardage (2,154; 179.5 yards per game). He has rushed for 1,134 yards and 16 touchdowns, totaling four 100-yard rushing efforts, for the 10-2 Nittany Lions. He has added 47 receptions for 594 yards and three more scores, and has also returned two kickoffs for touchdowns. Barkley has even thrown a touchdown pass this season.
LAMAR JACKSON – LOUISVILLE – JUNIOR
The 2016 Walter Camp Player of Year recipient, Jackson has accounted for 42 touchdowns (25 passing, 17 rushing) for the 8-4 Cardinals this season. He has thrown for 3,489 yards (241-for-399) and rushed for 1,443 yards. He passed 300 or more yards six times, and had nine 100-yard rushing efforts. He accounted for a season-high 525 yards of total offense (393 passing, 132 rushing) and six touchdowns in a win over North Carolina on Sept. 8.
BRYCE LOVE – STANFORD – JUNIOR
The leader of the Cardinal’s offense, Love ranks second in the nation with 1,848 rushing yards, averaging 8.6 yards per carry. Love has scored 16 touchdowns. Love has 10, 100-yard rushing efforts, including a season-best 301 (on 25 carries) and three touchdowns in a win over Arizona State on Sept. 30 that earned him Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week honors. Stanford (9-3) will play USC on Dec. 2 in the Pac-12 Championship Game.
BAKER MAYFIELD – OKLAHOMA – SENIOR
The leader of the third-ranked Sooners offense, Mayfield has passed for 4,097 yards (247-of-346) and 37 touchdowns. His 4,097 yards rank second in the nation. He has thrown for 300 or more yards nine times, including a career-best 598 (24-of-36, 5 touchdowns) in a win against Oklahoma State on Nov. 4 that earned him Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week honors. Oklahoma (11-1) will play TCU on Dec. 2 in the Big 12 Championship Game.
RASHAAD PENNY – SAN DIEGO STATE – SENIOR
The nation’s all-purpose yards leader (2,698; 224.8 yards per game), Penny has scored 24 touchdowns for the 10-2 Aztecs, coming four different ways this season – 19 rushing, 2 receiving, 2 kickoff return and 1 via punt return. Penny has rushed for a nation-leading 2,027 yards, averaging 7.4 yards per carry. Penny earned Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week honors twice this season (Sept. 9 and Nov. 19).