As the regular season comes to an end, award season starts up. Several awards have been given out already but we are waiting on the best of all to happen tonight.
One of the most coveted college awards. Many legends have won this award and many legends to come will. It is not position specific, it is just given to the “most outstanding player of the season who best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity.”
Some legends such as Steve Spurrier, OJ Simpson (MURDERER), Herschal Walker, Bo Jackson, Desmond Howard, Carson Palmer, Tim Tebow, and RG3 have been awarded this trophy among others.
The winner joins a special fraternity of men. An exclusive member with brothers whose history could create a super team. A fraternity that gets to vote on it’s next exclusive member.
In years past, only three nominees were brought to NYC for the official ceremony. In recent years (after the Manizel era) they began inviting the Top 5.
This years 5 are unique. 3 QBs, 1 linebacker, and one wide receiver. What makes them unique you ask? Probably that it’s been a competition between two the entire time. It’s like a “here, you did good, come to NYC invite”.
Let’s play nice though and break it down as if they all had a chance.
Oklahoma, Wide Receiver, Senior
2016: 74 receptions, 1,465 yards, 16 touchdowns
Westbrook was a favorite target for his QB this year as the top receivers for the Sooners. In 2015 Westbrook was mediocre. With a over 700 yards but only 4 TD’s, compared to this years stats, he was just ok. We can call this his breakout season, which could help him in the draft as he is a senior. His shot to fame can be credited to the rise of the Sooners in recent weeks. Winning bigger games when they needed to down the stretch, Westbrook helped. He also helped in the replacement of star WR Sterling Shepard after his NFL departure. Westbrook shined as he stepped up and performed when he team needed him.
Michigan, Linebacker, Junior
Jabrill Peppers can do it all. He mainly plays defense but if you need an extra man on offense, he can be that person. In 12 games this season he has 46 solo tackles and 20 assisted. On the other side of the ball, in 27 rushing attempts he has 167 yards. He scored his only TD on a return. If you’re looking for those great offensive stats it comes in the form of punt + kick off returns. In 31 tries, Peppers has 570 yards. Put this man out there to make a stop and then ask him to run it back for you. Easy right? Peppers rose to fame because of his ability to be successful on both sides of the ball.
Oklahoma, Quarterback, Redshirt Junior
2016: 3,669 yards, 38 touchdowns, 8 interceptions
Baker Mayfield has been in the spotlight for a while now. Freshman year, 2,300+ yards. Sophomore year he was hurt, yet his redshirt sophomore year, 3,700 yards. This year, he’s close to matching last year. All he needs is 31 yards in the bowl game for Oklahoma to pass his career high. Mayfield is someone you want as your QB and someone who you don’t want to face. With a 71% completion rate, this kid doesn’t miss often. Mayfield, along with some help of course, brought this team back from a disappointing start to the season. In my opinion, without Mayfield, the Sooners wouldn’t be where they are right now.
Clemson, Quarterback, Senior
2016: 3,914 yards, 37 touchdowns, 15 interceptions
As a Gamecock, I hate him. As a football fan, I have to love him. Watson is another player who you don’t want to face. I will admit, Watson has the key players surrounding him to make him as successful as he is. But without talent, he can not be this great. Watson has powered his offense over some weak opponents. Watson has also powered the Tigers over tough opponents. The key to Watson’s success is he never panics. Even when the Tigers are down, or not far ahead, he is composed in the backfield. You don’t see him sweat. That is what makes him so great. Watson isn’t an overnight success. He has paved his way with hard work and determination. Over the course of three years (minus bowl games for this coming season) Watson will leave CFB with nearly 10k yards and over 85 TD’s and a completion rate of 67%. Talking about CFB success doesn’t leave this kids name out.
Louisville, Quarterback, Sophomore
2016: 3,390 yards, 30 touchdowns, 9 interceptions
Did I once write a post about Lamar Jackson being overrated? Yes. Was I wrong? Mostly. Do I regret the post? Hell no. Yet, Jackson has been the spark behind this Louisville offense all year. He has been the flashy QB that teams want to bring the spark on offense. He has lept, ran, tackled and did what he had to do to score. He ran up the score tossing bombs and rushing on his own. Jackson was a duel threat QB. He could toss it up or keep it himself and do damage. With a 56% complete rate, you could argue that Jackson was better at keeping it himself and running it. With 1,538 rushing yards of his own, Jackson lead the team as the top rusher. The power of Jackson came in his ability to think fast and carry the ball himself.
Who I Think Shouldn’t Be In NYC: Dede Westbrook, Jabrill Peppers
Who I Think Was Invited That Could Have Won: Baker Mayfield
Who I Think Should Win: Deshaun Watson
Who I Think Will Win: Lamar Jackson
Am I Sad: Yes.