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Jake Matthews and Aaron Donald Head 2013 Outland Trophy Semifinalists

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Jake Matthews Heads Six Outland Trophy Semifinalists

OMAHA (FWAA) – Six semifinalists for the 2013 Outland Trophy – five offensive linemen and one defensive tackle – were announced this week during a reception hosted by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee.

The Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), in a call of its 2013 All-America Committee, has determined the following six players as semifinalists for the 2013 award: Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh defensive tackle; Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama offensive tackle; Jake Matthews, Texas A&M offensive tackle; Cyril Richardson, Baylor offensive guard; Bryan Stork, Florida State center; and David Yankey, Stanford offensive guard.

Photo - OT Jake Matthews - Texas A&M

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The field for the Outland Trophy, which is awarded to the best interior lineman in college football on offense or defense, will be reduced to three in the next week. Those finalists will be announced on Nov. 25 and featured on ESPN the following evening at 5:30 p.m. ET. The winner of the 68th Outland Trophy will be revealed on Thursday, Dec. 12 on ESPN during the The Home Depot College Football Awards from the Dance Hall on the Disney Boardwalk in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Pittsburgh, Alabama and Texas A&M have had previous players claim the Outland Trophy; Baylor, Florida State and Stanford have never produced a winner. Last year's winner and the No. 2 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel, was the Aggies' first Outland winner and now is on the roster for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Alabama has had multiple winners, including the 2012 winner Barrett Jones, who played several spots on the offensive line for the Tide's recent national championship teams and is now a rookie on the St. Louis Rams' roster. Pittsburgh's winner, Mark May (in 1980), is a current ESPN analyst, College Football Hall of Famer and former NFL lineman.

The Current 2013 Outland Candidates

Donald, 6-0, 285-pound senior from Pittsburgh, Pa., has had the most productive season in college football for a defensive tackle. He leads the country in tackles for a loss per game (2.3) by a wide margin and he is tied for sixth in sacks. He also has four forced fumbles. A tackle with great agility, he's often double teamed and even at times tripled teamed.

Kouandjio, 6-6, 310-pound junior from Hyattsville, Md., is one of the mainstays on the Crimson Tide's offensive line that has produced an Outland Trophy winner or finalist the past two seasons. The unbeaten Crimson Tide, possibly headed for a third straight national title, has scored 50 touchdowns and averaged 38.8 points per game.

Matthews, a 6-5, 305-pound senior from Missouri City, Texas, actually moved over to Joeckel's left tackle spot this season and has been the main protector for Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel now that Joeckel is in the NFL. Matthews is a returning FWAA All-American from a year ago.

Richardson, 6-5, 340-pound senior from Fort Worth, Texas, is described as a "dominating drive blocker" in some reviews. He's one of the major reasons Baylor has the nation's top scoring offense. He has played tackle, but moved back to guard these past two seasons. Baylor's rushing game averages just over 300 yards per game, while the Bears are averaging a remarkable 61.2 points per game to lead the nation.

Stork, 6-4, 300-pound senior from Vero Beach, Fla., has played every position on the offensive line and is the top lineman on the No. 2-ranked Seminoles' powerful offense which averages 52.7 points a game. A fifth-year player, he has made 36 career starts.

Yankey, 6-5, 311-pound senior from Roswell, Ga., anchors Stanford's strong offensive line and is a pulling guard for the Cardinal's running game. In Stanford's 26-20 victory over Oregon, it ran the ball on all 17 of its fourth-quarter offensive snaps. He has 35 career starts.

The Outland Trophy, which has been awarded annually by the FWAA since 1946, is named after the late John Outland, an All-American lineman at the University of Pennsylvania in the late 1900s. The Outland Trophy is the third-oldest award in major college football behind the Heisman Trophy and Maxwell Award.

For the 17th consecutive year, the presentation banquet of the Outland Trophy will occur in Omaha. The official 2013 Outland Trophy presentation to the winner will be at a banquet sponsored by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee. The Outland Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 21 awards boast 678 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about our story.

The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,200 men and women who cover college football. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include gameday operations, major awards and its annual All- America team. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson at tiger@fwaa.com or 972-713-6198.

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe etc for the past 18 years. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year round basis related to College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals sports publications and web sites.

DE Michael Sam Heads Hendricks Award List

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Mid-Season Watch List for 2013 Ted Hendricks Award Announced

Photo: DE Michael Sam - Missouri

Tigers’ Michael Sam Heads Hendricks Award List

The Mid-Season Watch list for the 2013 Ted Hendricks Award has been announced. 18 players have earned a spot with just a few weeks to go in the season. This list will remain open to additions and deletions until our selection committee completes its first vote on November 25.

Missouri’s Michael Sam is enjoying a stellar senior season, and his play has been a key reason for the Tiger’s surge to a 9-1 overall record (5-1 in SEC play) and current rankings of 8th in the Coaches’ Poll, and 9th in both the Bowl Championship Series and Associated Press polls.

Through 10 games this season, Sam finds himself leading the SEC in both quarterback sacks (10.0) and tackles for loss (16.0), and he ranks 7th and 8th nationally in those categories, respectively. Sam’s play has keyed a Tiger defense that has been one of the most disruptive in the nation in 2013, as the Tigers currently rank among the top-10 nationally in several categories, including sacks (3rd), interceptions (4th), turnovers gained (6th), and tackles for loss (9th), among others.

Sam has been recognized three times this season by the SEC, twice as the league’s defensive line player of the week (Sept. 28th, Oct. 5th) and once as its defensive player of the week (Oct. 19th).
Members of the national media, head coaches, professional scouts and former Hendricks Award winners are included on the voting committee. Finalists for the award will be named on November 25th, with the winner being announced on December 11th. For online information about the Hendricks Award, please visit www.tedhendricksaward.com.

The Ted Hendricks Award is named in honor of college football’s first three-time first-team All-American. As a defensive end at the University of Miami, Ted used his agility, height and reach to block passes and kicks, force interceptions and pressure quarterbacks and running backs. He roamed the front line, read plays and blitzed on impulse, completely transforming the way the defensive end position was played. His professional career spanned 15 years and 215 consecutive games. It included four Super Bowl victories, eight Pro Bowl selections and inductions into the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame. It is in the spirit of Ted Hendricks’ aggressive style of play, winning attitude and determination that the Defensive End of the Year Award for college football’s premier defensive end is presented.

On-field performance, exceptional winning attitude, leadership abilities, contributions to school and community and academic preparedness are some of the criteria used to determine the Award’s winner. Members of the national media, head coaches, professional scouts and former winners are included in the Award’s voting committee. Candidates may represent any class (Freshman through Senior) as well as any four-year NCAA accredited school. The candidate’s primary position must be Defensive End.

2013 HENDRICKS AWARD MID-SEASON WATCH LIST
VIC BEASLEY - CLEMSON
SCOTT CRICHTON - OREGON STATE
KASIM EDEBALI - BOSTON COLLEGE
JAYRONE ELLIOTT - TOLEDO
DEE FORD - AUBURN
RANDY GREGORY - NEBRASKA
MARTIN IFEDI - MEMPHIS
JACKSON JEFFCOAT - TEXAS
DEMARCUS LAWRENCE - BOISE ST
KAREEM MARTIN - NORTH CAROLINA
LORENZO MAULDIN - LOUISVILLE
RYAN MUELLER - KANSAS ST
CEDRIC REED - TEXAS
MICHAEL SAM - MISSOURI
MARCUS SMITH - LOUISVILLE
CHRIS SMITH - ARKANSAS
CHIDERA UZO-DIRIBE - COLORADO
TONY WASHINGTON – OREGON

Previous recipients of the Hendricks Award include:
2002 - Terrell Suggs (Arizona State), 2003-04 – David Pollack (Georgia), 2005 - Elvis Dumervil (Louisville), 2006 - LaMarr Woodley (Michigan), 2007 - Chris Long (Virginia), 2008 - Brian Orakpo (Texas), 2009 - Jerry Hughes (TCU), 2010 – Da’Quan Bowers (Clemson), 2011 – Whitney Mercilus (Illinois) and 2012 – Jadeveon Clowney (South Carolina).

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Jim Thorpe etc for the past 20 years. He writes ‘College Football Mondays’ weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-Star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, CBS Sports, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year round basis related to College and NFL football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals networks in addition to many sports publications and web sites.

Jadeveon Clowney Heads Lombardi Semifinalist

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Jadeveon Clowney Named Lombardi Semifinalist
South Carolina Defensive End One of 12 for Prestigious Award

Photo: DE Jadeveon Clowney - South Carolina

University of South Carolina junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is among 12 players named as semifinalists for the 44th Rotary Lombardi Award, it was announced today.

Clowney, a 6-6, 274-pounder from Rock Hill, S.C., was a finalist for the award last season. He is among eight defensive and four offensive players announced as 2103 semifinalists by the Rotary Club of Houston. The SEC leads the pack with four players, followed by the Pac-12 with three, the ACC two followed by the Big Ten and the Big 12 with one each and one Independent.

Lombardi 12 Semifinalists:

Anthony Barr - Sr - LB - UCLA
Vic Beasley - Jr - DE - Clemson
Jadeveon Clowney - Jr - DE - South Carolina
Aaron Donald - Sr - DE - Pittsburgh
Taylor Lewan - Sr - OT - Michigan
Jake Matthews - Sr - OT - Texas A&M
CJ Mosley - Sr - LB - Alabama
Trent Murphy - Sr - LB - Stanford
Cyril Richardson - Sr - G - Baylor
Michael Sam - Sr - DE - Missouri
Kyle Van Noy - Sr - LB - BYU
David Yankey - Jr - G - Stanford

The 44th Lombardi Award will be held December 11, 2013, in Houston, Texas. For tickets and sponsorship information, visit www.rotarylombardiaward.org.

The Rotary Lombardi Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game's predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients. For more information, visit the association's official Web site, www.NCFAA.org.

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Jim Thorpe etc for the past 20 years. He writes ‘College Football Mondays’ weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-Star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, CBS Sports, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year round basis related to College and NFL football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals networks in addition to many sports publications and web sites.

QB Derek Carr - Fresno St. Earns Spot on O’Brien Semifinal List

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Derek Carr Earns Spot on O’Brien Semifinal List
Senior Quarterback One of 16 for Prestigious Award

Photo: QB Derek Carr - Fresno St

Senior quarterback Derek Carr of Fresno St. has been selected as one of 16 semifinalists for the 2013 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award. Carr has led the Bulldogs to an 8-0 start this season for the first time since 1989 and a #16 ranking in the BCS standings.

Over the 2013 season, Carr has 290 completions of 419 passes with just 4 interceptions. He has completed 69% of his passes for 3061 yards and 28 TD passes. With three games remain and the potential MWC title game looming, he could place the Bulldogs into a BCS game in January. Every remaining game will be seen on national TV that will enhance his chances for several awards – Davey Obrien, Maxwell and the prestigious Heisman Trophy award.

Carr has directed one of the premier passing games in the nation with at least 35 points scored in every contest. He owns 17 school records and 17 Mountain West records and has thrown a TD pass in 28-straight games, which is the longest active streak in the FBS. He has averaged 382.6 yards per game passing that is No. 2 in the FBS and is nearly 40 yards greater than the past five Heisman-winning QBs had averaged through their first eight games of their Heisman-winning seasons.

O’Brien Award - Narrowed down from the starting QBs from all 125 NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision schools, semifinalists were selected by the Davey O'Brien National Selection Committee, with the Fan Vote accounting for five percent of the total vote. The committee was asked to consider the following criteria: QB skills, athletic ability, academics, character, leadership and sportsmanship.

The 2013 Davey O'Brien Semifinalists represent schools from the following conferences: SEC (5), Pac-12 (3), AAC (2), ACC (2), Big Ten (1), Big 12 (1), Mid-American (1) and Mountain West (1).

2013 Davey O'Brien Semifinalists
Player / College / Conference

Blake Bortles, UCF, AAC
Tajh Boyd, Clemson, ACC
Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville, AAC
Derek Carr, Fresno State, MWC
Brett Hundley, UCLA, Pac-12
Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois, MAC
Sean Mannion, Oregon State, Pac-12
Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, SEC
Marcus Mariota, Oregon, Pac-12
A.J. McCarron, Alabama, SEC
Zach Mettenberger, LSU, SEC
Braxton Miller, Ohio State, Big Ten
Aaron Murray, Georgia, SEC
Bryce Petty, Baylor, Big 12
Connor Shaw, South Carolina, SEC
Jameis Winston, Florida State, ACC

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Jim Thorpe etc for the past 20 years. He writes ‘College Football Mondays’ weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-Star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, CBS Sports, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year round basis related to College and NFL football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals networks in addition to many sports publications and web sites.

2013 Maxwell and Chuck Bednarik Award Semifinalists

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The 2013 Maxwell and Chuck Bednarik Award Semifinalists

QBs Johnny Manziel & AJ McCarron Repeat on Maxwell Award List
Maxwell Football Club President, Ron Jaworski, announced the 2013 Semifinalists for the 77th Maxwell Award for the Collegiate Player of the Year and the 19th Chuck Bednarik Award for the Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year. The respective lists include a field of 16 candidates for the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards as selected by the Maxwell Football Club National Selection Committee.

Photo: LB Anthony Barr - UCLA

A very strong field of Maxwell Award semifinalists includes a representative from every major FBS conference as well two student-athletes each from Baylor, Oregon State and Texas A&M. Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron and Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel are repeat semifinalists from a season ago.

On the defensive side of the ball, the field of contenders is comprised of fresh faces, all of whom are making their debuts as Bednarik Award semifinalists. Six different conferences are represented, led by five student-athletes from the ACC.

Last season, the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards went to linebacker Manti Te'o of Notre Dame. This was the first time a player was a dual winner of the awards in the Maxwell Football Club's history. Te'o is currently a member of the San Diego Chargers.

The winners of the 77th Maxwell Award and the 19th Chuck Bednarik Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show which will be broadcast on ESPN on December 12, 2013. Three finalists for each award will be announced on November 25, 2013 and a second round of voting will take place at that time. The formal presentation of these awards will be made at the Maxwell Football Club's Awards Dinner on Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 in Atlantic City, N.J.

2013 Maxwell Award Semifinalists:

Tajh Boyd - Sr - QB - Clemson
Teddy Bridgewater - Jr - QB - Louisville
Ka'Deem Carey - Jr - RB - Arizona
Derek Carr - Sr - QB - Fresno State
Brandin Cooks - Jr - WR - Oregon State
Mike Evans - Soph - WR - Texas A & M
Melvin Gordon - Soph - RB - Wisconsin
Sean Mannion - Jr - QB - Oregon State
Johnny Manziel - Soph - QB - Texas A & M
Marcus Mariota - Soph - QB - Oregon
AJ McCarron - Sr - QB - Alabama
Aaron Murray - Sr - QB - Georgia
Bryce Petty - Jr - QB - Baylor
Bishop Sankey - Jr - - RB - Washington
Lache Seastrunk - Jr - RB - Baylor
Jameis Winston - Fr - QB - Florida State

2013 Chuck Bednarik Award Semifinalists:
Player / Last Name / Class / Position / College
Anthony Barr - Sr - LB - UCLA
Vic Beasley - Jr - DE - Clemson
Chris Borland - Sr - LB - Wisconsin
Aaron Donald - Sr - DT - Pittsburgh
Ifo Ekpre-Olomu - Jr - CB - Oregon
Kyle Fuller - Sr - CB - Virginia Tech
Jackson Jeffcoat - Sr - DE - Texas
Lamarcus Joyner - Sr - CB - Florida State
Khalil Mack - Sr - LB - Buffalo
C.J. Mosley - Sr - LB - Alabama
Trent Murphy - Sr - LB - Stanford
Michael Sam - Sr - DE - Missouri
Ryan Shazier - Jr - LB - Ohio State
Kyle Van Noy - Sr - LB - BYU
Nikita Whitlock - Sr - DT - Wake Forest
Leonard Williams - Soph - DE - USC

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe etc for the past 20 years. He writes ‘College Football Mondays’ weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, CBS Sports, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year round basis related to College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals networks, sports publications and web sites.

Jadeveon Clowney Heads Nagurski, Maxwell and Bednarik Award Lists

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Jadeveon Clowney Heads Nagurski, Maxwell and Bednarik Award Lists

Photo – DE Jadeveon Clowney - South Carolina

South Carolina junior end Jadeveon Clowney heads all the major defensive awards including the 2013 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List of 81 standout defensive players.

One of the players on the watch list most likely will be awarded the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, presented annually to the national defensive player of the year by the FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club. Every NCAA Division I Bowl Subdivision conference and several independents are represented on the list that is evenly divided among linemen, linebackers and defensive backs.

Players may be added or removed from the watch list during the course of the season. Once again, the FWAA will choose a Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week each Tuesday throughout the season. If not already on the watch list, the honored player will be added at that time. The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists for the 2013 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Nov. 21. The Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner will be chosen from those five finalists who are part of the 2013 FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the association's entire membership, selects the 25-man All-America Team and eventually the Nagurski finalists. Committee members, then by individual ballot, select the winner, the best defensive player in America.

2013 BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY PRESEASON WATCH LIST (81)
Ricardo Allen, Purdue, DB
Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia Tech, DL
Deion Barnes, Penn State, DL
Calvin Barnett, Oklahoma State, DL
Anthony Barr, UCLA, LB
Deion Belue, Alabama, DB
Bene Benwikere, San Jose State DB
Greg Blair, Cincinnati, LB
Chris Borland, Wisconsin, LB
Tre Boston, North Carolina, DB
Carl Bradford, Arizona State, LB
Morgan Breslin, USC, DL
Jonathan Brown, Illinois, LB
Christian Bryant, Ohio State, DB
Max Bullough, Michigan State, LB
Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina, DL
Ross Cockrell, Duke, DB
Aaron Colvin, Oklahoma, DB
Scott Crichton, Oregon State, DL
Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State, DB
Quandre Diggs, Texas, DB
Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh, DL
Dominique Easley, Florida, DL
Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon, DB
Antone Exum, Virginia Tech, DB
Devonte Fields, TCU, DL
Ben Gardner, Stanford, DL
Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State, DB
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama, DB
Ra'Shede Hageman, Minnesota, DL
Bryce Hager, Baylor, LB
Andre Hal, Vanderbilt, DB
Jordan Hicks, Texas, LB
Adrian Hubbard, Alabama, LB
Kerry Hyder, Texas Tech, DL
Andrew Jackson, Western Kentucky, LB
Shawn Jackson, Tulsa, LB
Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas, DL
Timmy Jernigan, Florida State, DL
A.J. Johnson, Tennessee, LB
Anthony Johnson, LSU, DL
Christian Jones, Florida State, LB
Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State, DB
Eric Kendricks, UCLA, LB
Demarcus Lawrence, Boise State, DL
Shaun Lewis, Oklahoma State, LB
Craig Loston, LSU, DB
Aaron Lynch, USF, DL
Khalil Mack, Buffalo, LB
Kareem Martin, North Carolina, DL
Daniel McCullers, Tennessee, DL
Terrance Mitchell, Oregon, DB
James Morris, Iowa, LB
C.J. Mosley, Alabama, LB
Trent Murphy, Stanford, LB
Marco Nelson, Tulsa, DB
Louis Nix III, Notre Dame, DL
Roosevelt Nix, Kent State, DL
Denzel Nkemdiche, Ole Miss, LB
Kevin Pierre-Louis, Boston College, LB
Hayes Pullard, USC, LB
Loucheiz Purifoy, Florida, DB
Ed Reynolds, Stanford, DB
Bradley Roby, Ohio State, DB
Marcus Rush, Michigan State, DL
Tyler Scott, Northwestern, DL
Ryan Shazier, Ohio State, LB
Shayne Skov, Stanford, LB
Yawin Smallwood, Connecticut, LB
Chris Smith, Arkansas, DL
Hakeem Smith, Louisville, DB
Will Sutton, Arizona State, DL
Damian Swann, Georgia, DB
Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame, DL
Jack Tyler, Virginia Tech, LB
Kyle Van Noy, BYU, LB
Jason Verrett, TCU, DB
Nickoe Whitley, Mississippi State, DB
Nikita Whitlock, Wake Forest, DL
Leonard Williams, USC, DL
Ty Zimmerman, Kansas State, DB

By conference: SEC (16), Pac-12 (14), Big Ten (13), ACC (12), Big 12 (12), American Athletic (4), Independents (3), Conference USA (2), Mid-American (2), Mountain West (2), Sun Belt (1).

The FWAA has named a National Defensive Player of the Year since 1993. In 1995, the FWAA named the award in honor of the legendary two-way player from the University of Minnesota. Nagurski dominated college football then became a star for professional football's Chicago Bears in the 1930s. Bronislaw "Bronko" Nagurski is a charter member of both the College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame. The FWAA works to govern areas that include gameday operations, major awards and its annual All-America team.

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe etc for the past 18 years. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year round basis related to College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals sports publications and web sites.

Tavon Austin Named 2012 Paul Hornung Award Winner

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WVU's All-Purpose Back and Return Specialist Tavon Austin Named 2012 Paul Hornung Award Winner

West Virginia senior Tavon Austin has been named the winner of the 2012 Paul Hornung Award, presented by as the most versatile player in major college football. The announcement was made today by the Louisville Sports Commission and Paul Hornung.

Photo – RB Paul Hornung – Notre Dame (G.B. Packers)

Austin excelled throughout the 2012 season as one of the nation's most prolific all-purpose offensive and special teams players during the Mountaineers' inaugural season in the Big 12 Conference. He was one of two players in the nation with more than 500 yards in three different statistical categories (rushing, receiving and kick returns) and one of three players in the nation with 110 or more catches.

"I am honored and humbled to be selected as the winner of the prestigious Paul Hornung Award," said Austin. "Whether I am on the field as a receiver, in the backfield or as a returner, I have high expectations for myself, and I have always tried to use my versatility to help my team be successful. I want to thank my coaches and teammates for helping me achieve this honor."

On Nov. 17 against the University of Oklahoma, Austin recorded his most prolific performance of the season when he registered an astounding 572 all-purpose yards, the second-highest total all-purpose yards in a single game in FBS history and a Big 12 Conference record. In the 50-49 shootout loss to the Sooners, Austin set West Virginia's single-game rushing record with 344 yards, and his two rushing touchdowns made him the first Mountaineer in school history to score a touchdown four different ways (receiving, rushing, kick and punt return) in one season.

"I like the way Tavon Austin plays the game," said Paul Hornung. "He is tough, he generates yardage almost every way possible and has a nose for the end zone. Tavon Austin is a deserving winner of the Paul Hornung Award. We look forward to having him with us at our banquet in Louisville in February."

For the season, Austin compiled 2,910 all-purpose yards, an average of 223.8 yards per game. His average yards per game was 80 more than any other player in the Big 12 Conference and the second-best mark in the nation. Austin ran for 643 yards on 72 carries with three touchdowns, caught 114 passes for 1,289 yards and 12 touchdowns, had 32 kick returns for 813 yards with a touchdown, and returned 15 punts for 165 yards and a touchdown. Austin closed out his collegiate career with 150 all-purpose yards in West Virginia's Pinstripe Bowl appearance on Dec. 29.

Under the direction of head coach Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia finished the year with a 7-6 record, including wins over No. 25 Baylor and on the road at No. 11 Texas. The Mountaineers were one-point shy of beating No. 13 Oklahoma in late-November and suffered an overtime defeat against TCU. Austin helped the Mountaineers score at least 42 points on six occasions in 2012.

"Tavon's play on the field defines versatility, and as I said during the season, he was the most dangerous player in the nation with the ball in his hands," Holgorsen said. "He is deserving of such a prestigious honor, and the program, the University and the state are very proud of him and his accomplishment."

Austin was chosen as the Paul Hornung Award winner from among four finalists by a 16-member national Selection Committee comprised of sports journalists and retired NFL players, and secured an additional first place vote from online fan voting. On Dec. 7, Austin, Antonio Andrews (Western Kentucky), Dri Archer (Kent State) and Marqise Lee (USC) were named as Paul Hornung Award finalists. All voting was confirmed by Dean Dorton Allen Ford, PLLC, one of the leading accounting and advisory firms in Kentucky, with offices in Louisville and Lexington.
For the second consecutive year, fans made their voice known in the selection of the finalists and winner of the Paul Hornung Award. In 2012, 71,440 votes were cast to select the finalists throughout college football's regular season. In less than one month, 19,240 votes were cast to choose the winner of this year's award. The online fan vote accounts for the equivalent of one selection committee member.

Austin finished eighth in Heisman voting, the same award earned by Paul Hornung in 1956. Following the regular season, Austin was also named an All-America selection by various outlets, including the Associated Press, American Football Coaches Association, Sports Illustrated and Pro Football Weekly. He was also selected as the Big 12 Co-Special Teams Player of the Year and the Player of the Year by the Austin-American Statesman.

The Baltimore native was a Paul Hornung Award Weekly Honor Roll Selection on four occasions during the 2012 season and was recognized with the honor once during the 2011 season. The Dunbar High graduate set Maryland High School records for career points (790), touchdowns (123), total offensive yards (9,258) and rushing yards (7,962) during his prolific prep career.

Austin will be honored on Feb. 15, 2013, at the Galt House in downtown Louisville during the annual Paul Hornung Award banquet, sponsored by KentuckyOne Health.

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