Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds may not have been a Heisman Trophy finalist, but the legendary Midshipmen took home a share of one of the most prestigious individual awards in collegiate athletics Sunday. Reynolds was named a co-winner of the 2016 AAU James E. Sullivan Award in New York. He shares the honor with Connecticut women’s basketball player Breanna Stewart.
“I’m extremely blessed and honored to have won this award,” said Reynolds. “I would like to thank my family, the coaching staff, my teammates, the Naval Academy Athletic Association, the Naval Academy administration, the Brigade of Midshipmen and the entire Naval Academy family for all the support they have provided me over the last four years. Winning this award is the cherry on top of a great four years.”
Reynolds was an all-around class act on and off the field and exhibited all of the best qualities a college football player could possess. Winning the Sullivan Award confirms that as the award is presented to an outstanding amateur athlete who has displayed outstanding achievement in athletics while showing great leadership, character and sportsmanship. Reynolds exhibited all of that in victory and defeat for the Naval Academy.
Reynolds is the third football player in three years to receive the high honor, joining Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott and Penn State offensive lineman John Urschel. Other football players to receive the honor previously include Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning.
No player to suit up in a Navy football uniform will ever wear the number 19 again. The number, most recently worn by Keenan Reynolds, was officially retired by the Naval Academy Sunday during the program’s annual football banquet.
Reynolds joins an elite group in Navy football history. Only three other players in program history have had their uniform number retired. They are Roger Staubach (No. 12), Joe Bellino (No. 27) and Napoleon McCallum (No. 30).
“This is quite an honor and something that I never dreamed would happen,” said Reynolds. “I give all the credit to my teammates. This is a group honor and without my teammates over the past four years none of this would have been possible. I would like to thank Vice Admiral Carter, Mr. Gladchuk and Coach Niumatalolo for this unbelievable honor that I will never forget.”
Reynolds set the NCAA career touchdown record (88 touchdowns) and set the record for most rushing touchdowns in Division 1 last season, Navy’s first in a conference home. He also ended his Navy career with a remarkable 7-1 record against service academies, Army and Air Force. In that record is the first 4-0 record by a starting quarterback in Army-Navy Game history.
In addition to having his number retired, Reynolds also received the E.E. “Rip” Miller Award, a season MVP award voted on by his Navy teammates. Reynolds also won the Roger Staubach Award for his outstanding leadership and attitude and the Napoleon McCallum Award for having the most all-purpose yards in his career in his graduating class. Perhaps someday Navy will hand out a Keenan Reynolds Award.
They totally should.
If there ends up being college football in the state of Louisiana in 2016, LSU has a running backs coach lined up. LSU announced the hiring of running backs coach Jabbar Juluke Saturday morning. Juluke joins LSU after previously coaching at Texas Tech. He fills the vacancy left on the staff by Frank Wilson, who accepted a position as head coach at UTSA.
“Jabbar is a veteran running backs coach with strong ties to New Orleans,” LSU head coach Les Miles said in a released statement. “He has a proven track record of success at both the college and high school level and he’s going to do a great job of continuing to develop our players both on and off the field. Jabbar is a great fit for us and we are excited to have him join our program.”
Juluke spent three years coaching running backs at Louisiana Tech before heading to Texas Tech. The New Orleans native was a high school head coach for nine years and graduated from Southern University, so it goes without saying he has a good feel for the landscape in Louisiana, which has clearly been a big recruiting factory for LSU over the years. At Louisiana Tech, Juluke coached Kenneth Dixon, who would go on to set NCAA all-time rushing records for touchdowns (which was then topped by Navy’s Keenan Reynolds), points scored and games with a touchdown scored. Now he will get the opportunity to coach one of the nation’s best running backs, Leonard Fournette.
LSU also announced the departure of wide receivers coach Tony Ball, who is leaving to pursue other coaching opportunities.
Late last night, Dabo Swinney took home honors as the Bear Bryant Coach of the Year. A day later, a player who was instrumental in the Clemson head coach’s 2015 success has been honored as well.
The Allstate Sugar Bowl announced Thursday that true sophomore Deshaun Watson has been awarded the Manning Award, given annually to the nation’s top quarterback. The award, named in honor of the quarterbacking Mannings — Archie, Peyton and Eli — is the only one to take into account a player’s performance in the postseason.
There were 11 other finalists for this year’s trophy: Brandon Allen (Arkansas), Trevone Boykin (TCU), Connor Cook (Michigan State), Brandon Doughty (Western Kentucky), Kevin Hogan (Stanford), Chad Kelly (Ole Miss), Paxton Lynch (Memphis), Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma), Dak Prescott (Mississippi State), Keenan Reynolds (Navy) and Greg Ward, Jr., (Houston).
“We are honored to present this year’s Manning Award to Deshaun Watson,” Archie Manning said in a statement. “Deshaun led his team to a perfect regular season and then an impressive win in the Playoff Semifinal before his 478-yard performance in the national championship. He may not have won the title but he showed the world what an outstanding talent he is and what a tremendous competitor he is.”
Watson, a consensus All-American and Heisman finalist, becomes the third player from the ACC to win the Manning, joining Boston College’s Matt Ryan (Boston College, 2007) and Florida State’s Jameis Winston (2013).
When President Barack Obama makes his final State of the Union Address tomorrow night in Washington D.C., Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds will be there to witness it. Reynolds will be a guest of Tennessee Congressman Jim Cooper, according to Navy football’s memo. Reynolds is a Tennessee native.
If any college football player is worthy of receiving such an invite, it has to be Reynolds. The Navy quarterback closed out a storied career with the Midshipmen on the football field this past season by setting multiple records along the way to leading Navy to its first 11-win season. Reynolds also finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting and became a bit of a fan favorite for the award as the final weeks flew by. He also received All-American honors from the Associated Press after helping Navy clinch the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy by becoming the first Navy quarterback to go 4-0 against Army in the annual Army-Navy Game.
So if you are tuning in for the State of the Union on Tuesday night, keep an eye out for one of college football’s finest in the crowd.