College football's finest were honored Thursday night in Orlando during The Home Depot College Football Awards Show on ESPNU. There were some obvious choices and perhaps a surprise or two. Here is a run down of all the winners from the annual awards show.
Maxwell Award - Andrew Luck, Stanford
College Player of the Year
Luck is the second player from Stanford to be named the Maxwell Award winner (Jim Plunkett, 1970). Despite being a player of the year award, the Maxwell Award does not a great predictor for the Heisman Trophy. Only three times since 2000 has the Maxwell Award winner been named the Heisman Trophy winner in the same season (Jason White, Tim Tebow, Cam Newton).
The Walter Camp All-America Team Player of the Year - Andrew Luck, Stanford
For the third straight year, the same player won the Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Award as player of the year (Cam Newton, Colt McCoy).
Chuck Bednarik Award - Tyrann Mathieu, LSU
College Defensive Player of the Year
For the second straight year, an LSU defensive back has won the Chuck Bednarik Award. The award has generally been dominated by linebackers, as you might expect due to the award's namesake, but Mathieu joins Patrick Peterson and Charles Woodson as the third defensive back to win the award presented by The Maxwell Club. LSU becomes the third school to have multiple Bednarik Award winners. Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald won the first two awards handed out in 1995 and 1996, and Penn State linebackers have hauled in four awards (including two by Paul Posluszny).
Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award - Robert Griffin III, Baylor
Nation's Best Quarterback
RG3 becomes the first Baylor quarterback to win the nation's top quarterback award. Big 12 quarterbacks have combined for seven Davey O'Brien Awards (eight if you include Nebraska's Eric Crouch).
The Davey O'Brian Award winner has gone on to win the Heisman Trophy seven times since 2000 and has won a total of 14 Heisman Trophy awards since 1981, the year of the first Davey O'Brien Award. Big 12 players winning Davey O'Brien Awards have gone on to win three Heisman Trophy awards in the same season (Eric Crouch in 2001, Jason White in 2003, Sam Bradford in 2008).
Biletnikoff Award - Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State
Nation's Most Outstanding Receiver
Justin Blackmon joins Texas Tech's Michael Crabtree as the only player to win multiple and back-to-back Biletnokoff Awards. He wins his second straight award despite seeing his offensive production dip in receiving yards, receiving average and touchdowns this season. Blackmon and Crabtree are the only Big 12 players to win the award, which was introduced in 1994.
Doak Walker Award - Trent Richardson, Alabama
Nation's Most Outstanding Running Back
Trent Richardson is the first Alabama player to win the Doak Walker Award, introduced in 1990. Five Doak Walker Award winners have gone on to win the Heisman Trophy, but none of those players have come out of the SEC.
Outland Trophy - Barrett Jones, Alabama
Nation's Most Outstanding Interior Lineman
Jim Thorpe Award - Morris Claiborne, LSU
Nation's Most Outstanding Defensive Back
Like Mathieu and the Bednarik Award, Morris Claiborne becomes the second LSU player in as many years to win the Jim Thorpe Award (Patrick Peterson). It is also the third straight season the award has gone to an SEC player (Eric Berry, Tennessee, 2009). It is the second time the same school had a player win the award, with Texas doing so in 2005 and 2006 with Michael Huff and Aaron Ross.
The pressure is on Eric Reid...
Rimington Trophy - David Molk, Michigan
Nation's Most Outstanding Center
First awarded in 2000, Big Ten players have won almost half of the Rimington Trophies presented. David Molk is the first Wolverine to win the award and is the fifth Big Ten player to win the award (sixth if you include Nebraska's Dominic Raiola in 2000).
John Mackey Award - Dwayne Allen, Clemson
Nation's Most Outstanding Tight End
First introduced in 2000, no school has won multiple Mackey Awards.
Rotary Lombardi Award - Luke Kuechly, Boston College
Nation's Most Outstanding Lineman
Kuechly is the first Boston College player to win the award, introduced in 1970. He is also the first ACC player to win the award in ten years, with North Carolina's Julius Peppers winning the award in 2001. Kuechly also picked up this year's Butkus Award (not awarded Thursday night) and is the ACC's Defensive Player of the Year.
Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award - Randy Bullock, Texas A&M
Nation's Most Outstanding Placekicker
Randy Bullock picks up the first Lou Groza Award for Texas A&M. In a season that failed to reach preseason expectations for the Aggies, Bullock was one of the more consistent players on the team. Bullock joins fellow Big 12 Lou Groza winners such as Dan Bailey (2010, Oklahoma State) and Martín Gramática (1997, Kansas State).
Ray Guy Award - Ryan Allen, Louisiana Tech
Nation's Most Outstanding Punter
Many watching were still wondering why LSU's Brad Wing was not named a finalist for the award, but Louisiana Tech's Ryan Allen had a better punting average by about 2.2 yards and 28 more punts than LSU's star punter, resulting in 101 more yards per game.
The Home Depot Coach of the Year - Les Miles, LSU
Les Miles is the third SEC coach in the last four seasons to be named the Home Depot Coach of the Year, joining Auburn's Gene Chizik (2010) and Alabama's Nick Saban (2008). That makes this year's BCS Championship Game the second time we will see Home Depot Coach of the Year Award winners square off against each other for the national championship (Miles vs. Saban). The last time was the 2004 BCS Championship Game between Pete Carrol (2004 winner) and Bob Stoops (2000 winner). This is far from a trend with just one game to evaluate, but current coaches of the year are 1-0 in head-to-head match-ups in BCS Championships.
He is one of our favorite coaches here at Crystal Ball Run. We tip our collective hats to The Hat.
Frank Broyles Award - John Chavis, LSU defensive coordinator
Top Assistant Coach
We know the SEC has some of the top head coaches. They also have some of the top assistant coaches. LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis is the third SEC assistant coach to win the Frank Broyles Award, following Auburn's Gus Malzahn (2010) and Alabama's Kirby Smart (2009). First awarded in 1996, six Frank Broyles Award winners have gone on to become a head coach. They are David Cutcliffe, Ralph Friedgen, Mark Mangino, Randy Shannon, Gene Chizik, and Kevin Wilson. So you can see it is hit or miss for Broyles Award winners.
William V. Campbell Trophy - Andrew Rodriguez, Army
Disney Sports Spirit Award - University of Alabama
Nation's Most Inspirational Sports Figure or Team
The wave of tornadoes that ravaged Tuscaloosa and other parts of Alabama and throughout the south east portion of the country was devastating for all of us to watch, but was certainly one of the toughest real life events for those living in the area to live through. Alabama's football team was honored for their part of the story and recovery in Tuscaloosa by Disney Sports and ESPN, who teamed up to create the award in 1996.
Previous winners include Boston College's Mark Herzlich (2009), Florida's Tim Tebow (2008), Tulane University (2005), and the U.S. Service Academies (Army, Navy, Air Force in 2001).
Want more awards coverage? Check out the 2011 Bloguin College Football Awards. And do not forget to sign up for out bowl pick 'em challenge, where you have a chance to win an Amazon gift card and some great college football books.
All photos provided by ESPN.
Follow Crystal Ball Run @CrystalBallRun.
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