Yeah, football is a team sport, but ya have to honor some individuals, right? Rather than try to come up with an eloquent lead talking about the greatness of tonight’s Home Depot College Football Award winners, we’ll just sit back and let the players taking home the hardware do the talking. As the night progresses and the awards are handed out, check back to get all the results.
Davey O’Brien Award, given to the nation’s most outstanding quarterback.
Cam Newton, Auburn. Newton is clearly the leader for the Heisman Trophy, so we figured Stanford’s Andrew Luck or Boise State’s Kellen Moore had equally as good of a chance, if not better, to win the O’ Brien Award. But, it’s hard to argue with Newton’s stats (49 total TD’s) — which at first glance look like something outta Techmo Bowl.
Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation’s most outstanding wide receiver.
Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State. Eleven consecutive games (not counting the one-game suspension for a DUI in October) with at least 100 yards receiving and 18 touchdowns? Um, yeah, we’d say he’s earned that award. When you consider the fact that Blackmon beat out Oklahoma’s Ryan Broyles and South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffrey — not to mention Georgia’s A.J. Green wasn’t even invited as a finalist to tonight’s ceremony — it makes the achievement that much more spectacular.
Big 12 receivers have won three out of the last four Biletnikoff awards.
Doak Walker Award, given to the nation’s most outstanding running back.
LaMichael James, Oregon. Not much of a shocker here. James had the most rushing yards of anyone in the country (1682 yards) this season and proved to be one of the most explosive backs in the country. Certainly, Wisconsin’s John Clay and Oklahoma State’s Kendall Hunter were worthy finalists, but James ran away (see what we did there?) from the competition late in the season.
Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation’s most outstanding defensive back.
Patrick Peterson, LSU. If there was ever a defensive player besides Auburn’s Nick Fairley who could have contended for the Heisman this season, it was Peterson. Not only was he a shut down defensive back, but Peterson struck the famous stiff-armed pose on special teams as well, proving himself to be a helluva return man. Peterson has incredible size for the position and could be the highest DB taken in this year’s NFL draft.
Ray Guy Award, given to the nation’s most outstanding punter.
Chas Henry, Florida. Bottom line: the guy didn’t choke.
John Mackey Award, given to the nation’s most outstanding tight end.
D.J. Williams, Arkansas. He had 49 catches for 589 yards and 4 touchdowns. Also was the recipient of the Disney Spirit Award.
Lou Groza Award, given to the nation’s most outstanding place kicker.
Dan Bailey, Oklahoma State. Bailey becomes the second Oklahoma State player this season to win a major postseason award. Bailey’s highlight of the season: a game-winning field goal over Texas A&M to keep the Cowboys undefeated.
Chuck Bednarik Award, given to the nation’s defensive player of the year.
Patrick Peterson, LSU. We’re a little surprised that this didn’t go to either Nick Fairley or Da’Quan Bowers, but you have to hand it to Peterson, who just racked up his second major award of the night.
Home Depot Coach of the Year.
Gene Chizik, Auburn. Well, I guess when you go undefeated in the SEC …
Outland Trophy, given to the nation’s best interior lineman.
Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin. Carimi is the epitome Big Ten football: a big, physical run blocker for the best rushing team in the Big Ten in Wisconsin. With the award tonight, Carimi becomes the second Badger to win the award in five years.
Maxwell Award, given to the nation’s most outstanding player.
Cam Newton, Auburn. They should have just given the Heisman to him while they were at it and save everyone another hour on Saturday night.