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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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Johnthan Banks Named 2012 Jim Thorpe Award Winner

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Johnthan Banks Named 2012 Jim Thorpe Award Recipient

Photo – CB Johnthan Banks – Mississippi St

Frank Coyle voted for Mississippi St's Johnthan Banks as his 2012 Jim Thorpe Award winner

Mississippi State All-American defensive back Johnthan Banks was named the 2012 Jim Thorpe Award winner Thursday night at the Atlantic Dance Hall at the Boardwalk Hotel and Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The award, given annually to the top defensive back in college football, is the first individual national award for a MSU player in the 113-year history of the program.

“First of all, it’s a blessing from God to be given this opportunity,” Banks said. “I want to first thank the Jim Thorpe Association. It’s kind of shocking. There are so many great defensive backs in the country and this is all just a dream to me.”

Banks, a Walter Camp All-American, took him the award after posting 59 tackles, seven pass breakups, four interceptions, 2.0 tackles for loss, a fumble forced and a fumble recovery. Among active players in the FBS, the senior team captain ranks first in career interception yards (320), is tied for third with 16 career interceptions, is tied for sixth in interceptions returned for touchdowns (3), ranks eighth in interceptions per game (.32) and is tied for eighth with 26 career pass breakups.

“Four years ago, Johnthan Banks made a decision to stay at home and represent the people of Mississippi,” Head Coach Dan Mullen said. “What a tremendous honor for a young man from Maben, Miss., to be honored with the Jim Thorpe Award for the best defensive back in college football. It is something special for the entire state of Mississippi.”

Notre Dames' Tyler Eifert Wins 2012 John Mackey Award

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Tyler Eifert Wins 2012 John Mackey Award

Photo – TE Tyler Eifert – Notre Dame

The Nassau County Sports Commission announced Tyler Eifert of Notre Dame as the 2012 John Mackey Award recipient. The John Mackey Award trophy will be presented to Eifert on December 6, 2012, live on ESPNU, at 6:30pm EST as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Red Carpet Show. Eifert will also be honored at the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship Game in South Florida on January 7, 2013.

2012 was an outstanding year for Tyler Eifert. The senior recorded 44 receptions for 624 yards and four touchdowns while leading undefeated Notre Dame to the Discover BCS National Championship Game. In addition to the Mackey Award, he has also already been named second-team All American by Walter Camp and CBS Sports. Eifert, who is well known for his blocking ability and receiving prowess, has totaled 134 receptions, 1,779 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns in his career making him the all time career leader in receptions and receiving yards by a Notre Dame Tight End.

The John Mackey Award is given to the collegiate tight end who best exemplifies the play, sportsmanship, academics, and community values of NFL Hall of Fame Tight End John Mackey. The 2012 John Mackey Award recipient was determined by confidential balloting of the John Mackey Selection Committee.

The John Mackey Award presented since 2000, lists eleven NFL players as alumni: 2006 Super Bowl Champion Dallas Clark ('01) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, two-time Super Bowl Champion Daniel Graham ('02), Kellen Winslow II ('03), two-time Super Bowl Champion Heath Miller ('04) of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Marcedes Lewis ('05) of the Jacksonville Jaguars, 2008 Super Bowl Champion Matt Spaeth ('06) of the of the Chicago Bears, Fred Davis ('07) of the Washington Redskins, Chase Coffman ('08) of the Atlanta Falcons, Aaron Hernandez ('09) of the New England Patriots, D.J. Williams ('10) of the Green Bay Packers and the 2011 John Mackey Award recipient Dwayne Allen of the Indianapolis Colts.

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