With bowl season just around the corner, the awards season is in full swing, with the major award show taking place tonight. Following tonight, the only award left is the Heisman Award. Here is a recap of the awards presented tonight.
There is more to being a wide receiver than making flashy catches. The Biletnikoff Award is given to the nation’s top wide receiver. This year, Baylor wide receiver Corey Coleman took home the award. Coleman totaled 1,363 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns to help lead Baylor’s explosive offense.
While they might not seem important unless the game is on the line, kickers are crucial for a team and the Lou Groza Award is presented to the best kicker in the nation. This season, Ka’imi Fairbairn out of UCLA won the award. Fairbairn only missed three field goals this season, all outside of 40 yards, and also nailed a 60 yarder this season.
Contrary to popular belief, punters are people too. The Ray Guy Award credits the number one punter in the nation and took home the honors this season. Utah’s Tom Hackett went back-to-back, winning this season after winning last year as well. Hackett averaged 47.8 yards per punt this year and downed 24 punts inside the 20 yard line.
Seen as the top award in the nation, only behind the Heisman, the Maxwell Award is presented to the best college player of the year. Alabama’s Heisman hopeful, running back Derrick Henry, was awarded with the Maxwell this year. Henry set an SEC record, running for 1,986 yards, and had 23 touchdowns to go with his nearly 2,000 yards this year.
Quarterbacks get all of the love in college football and the Davey O’Brien Award is awarded to the nation’s best quarterback. Another Heisman hopeful, Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, won the O’Brien this year. Watson was incredible as a dual threat quarterback this year, passing for 3,512 yards, running for 887 yards, and racking up 41 total purpose touchdowns.
Linemen have a lot on their plate, blocking players just as big them and creating holes for running backs and protecting the quarterback. The Outland Trophy goes to the nation’s most outstanding interior lineman, and Joshua Garnett of Stanford won the honors this year. Garnett led the coverage on the line, allowing their Heisman candidate running back, Christian McCaffrey, to run all over defenses.
Defenses are crucial in football, and one good player can spark everyone around them to perform at a higher level. The Bednarik Award is given to the best defensive player in college football, which Temple’s Tyler Matakevich took home this year. Matakevich already won the Nagurski Award for best defensive player and his 126 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and five interceptions helped set him out from the rest.
A defensive back does more than intercept the ball and get called for pass interference. The Jim Thorpe Award credits the nation’s top defensive back. Desmond King from Iowa was awarded with it this year. King recorded eight interceptions and 20 defended passes set the tone for the Hawkeyes’ defense this year.
Fans expect running backs to run up and down the field every game but only the elite ones can constantly crack out dominant games. The Doak Walker Award is presented to the best running back in the nation. Henry walked out with the Walker award to accompany his Maxwell Award tonight.