The great and the good of College Football gathered in Atlanta on Thursday night to celebrate another fantastic season. Since the finalists were announced it seemed that Alabama’s awesome Tua Tagovailoa and Oklahoma Sooners superstar Kyler Murray would be on a collision course for the top awards. We now know that they are also set to go toe to toe in a mouth watering College Football playoff semi final.
It takes two to tango for Kyler and Tua…
If the game mirrors their performance on Thursday night we could be set for overtime! Tagovailoa and Murray picked up two awards each which sets up a nail biting wait for Saturday’s Heisman Trophy announcement. Tua took home the Maxwell Award for the Player of the Year, normally a nod to who will win the Heisman. The last three recipients of the Maxwell, Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson and Derrick Henry all went on to scoop the prestigious award.
However, Kyler was voted the AP Player of the Year and seems to have momentum behind him after inspiring the Sooners to the playoffs with a win in the Red River Rematch. He also added the Davey O’Brien Award for Best Quarterback.
I said in my finalists reveal piece back in November that I thought Murray deserved the Maxwell but that Tua would take it and also the Heisman. I will stand by that prediction.
Painting the town Crimson…
Tagovailoa wasn’t the sole representative from Alabama being honoured on Thursday night. The Crimson Tide have swept aside all comers on the field this season and were rewarded off of it.
Jerry Jeudy took home the Biletnikoff Award for the Best Receiver. Jeudy lead the SEC this year with 12 touchdowns.
Quinnen Williams won the Outland Trophy for Best Interior Lineman. He is an absolute game wrecker on defence and looks set to feature in the NFL for years to come. He beat out teammate Jonah Williams and Christian Wilkins of Clemson for the award.
Wilkins didn’t go home empty handed though as he was this years recipient of the William V. Campbell award, more commonly known as the Academic Heisman as it recognises academic achievement.
The final trophy for Alabama was given to Mike Locksley. The offensive coordinator took home the Broyles Award for Best Assistant Coach. He also won himself a new job as he was announced as head coach of Maryland on Friday.
Defence wins Championships, and awards…
Whilst the Crimson Tide were celebrating their haul of awards, a guy who had a hand in nearly ending their unbeaten season scooped the Jim Thorpe Award for best Defensive Back. DeAndre Baker has been a constant force in the Georgia secondary. He looks set to feature high up NFL Draft boards for teams looking for a new corner.
Another two players set to feature prominently on Sundays for years to come walked away with top honours on the defensive side of the ball.
Josh Allen became the first University of Kentucky player to win at the awards picking up not only the Bednarik Award for Best Defensive Player but also the Nagurski Trophy. I really like Allen and suspect he will rise up boards as we get closer to the draft. In our first mock draft he fell to the Green Bay Packers but I’ve a feeling he doesn’t make it down that far.
LSU’s Devin White was the winner of the Butkus Award for the Best Linebacker. I described him in our mock draft as the best true linebacker in this years class. His loss in the first half of the Alabama game made all the difference for LSU’s chances in not only that game but for their playoff hopes.
Doak Walker Award…
I had Darrell Henderson pegged for the Doak Walker Award and, as I watched him trample over Houston and run wild against UCF, I thought for sure that he’d carved his name in to the award. It wasn’t to be and in the end Jonathan Taylor ran away (pun intended) with it. He became the fourth Wisconsin Badger to win the award after Ron Dayne, Montee Ball and Melvin Gordon.
Kickers have awards too…
I wrap up my look at the awards with the guys kicking the ball. Syracuse have had a fine season and one of the reasons for that is the leg of Andre Szmyt. He won the Lou Groza Award for Best Placekicker. Texas A&M punter Braden Mann took home the Ray Guy Award for Best Punter beating out another Australian punting phenom in Mitch Wishnowsky.
All eyes now turn to Saturday night and the announcement of the Heisman Trophy. Will it be Tua Tagovailoa? Or will it be Kyler Murray? Keep it here at ninetynineyards.com for all your College Football news and reviews.
photo credit: FanBuzz