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College Award Lists

Griffin, Luck & Richardson Win Major 2011 College Awards

Griffin, Luck and Richardson among Award Recipients at The Home Depot College Football Awards

Quarterbacks Robert Griffin III of Baylor and Andrew Luck of Stanford, along with Alabama running back Trent Richardson each claimed top awards during the 21st annual The Home Depot College Football Awards hosted by Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and Erin Andrews on ESPN Thursday night live from the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Photo – QB Robert Griffin - Baylor

Heisman finalists Luck won the Maxwell Award for the college player of the year; Griffin earned the Davey O'Brien Award for the nation's most outstanding quarterback; and Richardson won the Doak Walker Award for the nation's most outstanding running back. LSU's cornerback, Tyrann Mathieu, a sophomore from New Orleans, LA, also a Heisman finalist, won the Chuck Bednarik Award for the college defensive player of the year.

Other notable awards included the presentation of LSU coach Les Miles with The Home Depot Coach of the Year Award and Northwestern State University senior linebacker Yaser Elqutub as the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team Captain- a community service award determined by college football fan voters for the work players conduct off the field.

Frank Coyle's Individual Player Voting 2011 Season
Heisman Trophy Vote - QB Andrew Luck - Stanford
Jim Thorpe Vote - CB Morris Claiborne - LSU
Nagurski Vote - CB Morris Claiborne - LSU
Lombardi Vote - OT Matt Kalil - Southern Cal
Outland Vote - OT Jonathan Martin - Stanford

THE HOME DEPOT COLLEGE FOOTBALL AWARDS WINNERS - (listed alphabetically)
Award / Presented By
Finalists and Winner

Chuck Bednarik Award
College Defensive Player of the Year
ESPN Analyst Matt Millen

Dont'a Hightower, Alabama
Tyrann Mathieu. LSU - WINNER
Devon Still, Penn State

Biletnikoff Award
Nation's Most Outstanding Receiver
Fred Biletnikoff*

Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State (2010 award winner) - WINNER
Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma
Robert Woods, USC

Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award
Nation's Most Outstanding Placekicker
Judd Groza (son of Lou Groza)

Randy Bullock, Texas A&M - WINNER
Dustin Hopkins, Florida State
Caleb Sturgis, Florida

Ray Guy Award
Nation's Most Outstanding Punter
Ray Guy*

Ryan Allen, Louisiana Tech - WINNER
Steven Clark, Auburn
Jackson Rice, Oregon

Maxwell Award
College Player of the Year
Herschel Walker* (1982 winner)

Andrew Luck, Stanford - WINNER
Kellen Moore, Boise State
Trent Richardson, Alabama

Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award
Nation's Best Quarterback
Jim McMahon* (1981 winner)

Robert Griffin III, Baylor - WINNER
Case Keenum, Houston
Andrew Luck, Stanford

Outland Trophy
Nation's Most Outstanding Interior Lineman
ESPN Analyst Mark May* (1980 winner)

David DeCastro, Stanford
Barrett Jones, Alabama - WINNER
Devon Still, Penn State

Jim Thorpe Award
Nation's Most Outstanding Defensive Back
Governor Bill Anoatubby

David Amerson, NC State
Mark Barron, Alabama
Morris Claiborne, LSU - WINNER

Doak Walker Award
Nation's Most Outstanding Running Back
Calvin Hill

Montee Ball, Wisconsin
LaMichael James, Oregon (2010 award winner)
Trent Richardson, Alabama - WINNER

The Walter Camp All-America Team Player of the Year
Andrew Luck, Stanford

*College Football Hall of Fame Inductee

The following players were also announced for the Walter Camp All-America Team, including the Walter Camp All-America Team Player of the Year, Andrew Luck:

Player / Team
Player of the Year

Presented by Lincoln Kennedy (1992 All-America Team)

QB Andrew Luck - Stanford

Offensive Team
Quarterback
Andrew Luck - Stanford

Running Backs
LaMichael James - Oregon
Trent Richardson - Alabama

Wide Receivers
Justin Blackmon - Oklahoma St
Ryan Broyles - Oklahoma

Tight End
Tyler Eifert - Notre Dame

Offensive Linemen
OG David DeCastro - Stanford
OG Barrett Jones - Alabama
OT Matt Kalil - USC
OT Jonathan Martin - Stanford
OC David Molk - Michigan

Defensive Team
Defensive Linemen
Melvin Ingram - South Carolina
Whitney Mercilus - Illinois
Devon Still - Penn State
Jerel Worth - Michigan State

Linebackers
Dont'a Hightower - Alabama
Jarvis Jones - Georgia
Luke Kuechly- Boston College

Defensive Backs
David Amerson - N.C. State
Mark Barron - Alabama
Morris Claiborne - LSU
Tyrann Mathieu - LSU

Special Team
Placekicker - Randy Bullock - Texas A&M
Punter - Shawn Powell - Florida State
Punt Returner - Tyler Lockett - Kansas State

Several other awards were recognized during this year's show, several of which were announced during The Home Depot College Football Awards Red Carpet Show hosted by Erin Andrews, Tom Rinaldi and Dari Nowkhah on ESPNU:

* Rimington Trophy (nation's most outstanding center) David Molk - Michigan

* John Mackey Award (nation's most outstanding tight end): Dwayne Alle - Clemson

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, 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.

Luck & Richardson Head Walter Camp Player of the Year Award Finalists

Finalists Named For 2011 Walter Camp Player of the Year Award

Photo – QB Andrew Luck - Stanford

Three QBs – Robert Griffin III(Baylor), Case Keenum (Houston) and Andrew Luck (Stanford)– lead the list of five finalists for the Walter Camp Football Foundation 2011 College Player of the Year award. Two players from the Southeastern Conference - Alabama running back Trent Richardson and LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu round out the list.

The 2011 Walter Camp Player of the Year recipient, who is voted on by the Football Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors, will be presented live on Thursday, December 8 during the 6 p.m. edition of _ESPN SportsCenter. Former Auburn University quarterback Cam Newton, now playing in the NFL for the Carolina Panthers, won the award last year. The winner will receive his trophy at the Foundation’s annual national awards banquet on Saturday, January 14, 2012 at the Yale University Commons in New Haven.

Walter Camp, “The Father of American football,” first selected an All-America team in 1889. Camp – a former Yale University athlete and football coach – is also credited with developing play from scrimmage, set plays, the numerical assessment of goals and tries and the restriction of play to eleven men per side. The Walter Camp Football Foundation – a New Haven-based all-volunteer group – was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and continue the tradition of selecting an annual All-America team. The Walter Camp Football Foundation 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 top 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. Visit www.ncfaa.org

THE FINALISTS FOR THE 2011 WALTER CAMP PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD:

Robert Griffin III – BAYLOR – Jr – QB
Griffin III ranks second nationally in total offense (390.0 yards per game) and points responsible for (22.5)….. He has passed for 3,678 yards and 34 touchdowns… Griffin III has eight 300-yard passing efforts, including four with 400 or more…. He has thrown for three or more touchdowns in a game eight times… He has earned Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week honors twice, most recently after a 479-yard and four-touchdown effort in a win over Oklahoma on November 19.

Case Keenum – HOUSTON – Sr – QB
Keenum has led the Cougars to a 12-0 record and a berth in Saturday’s Conference USA title game… He leads the nation in total offense (397.4 yards per game) and passing yards per game (393.8)… Keenum has passed for 4,726 yards and 43 touchdowns, completing 342-of-467 passes… He has thrown for 300 or more yards in all 12 games, including six 400-yard efforts… His best game came in a win over Rice on October 27 when he threw for a season-high 534 yards and nine touchdowns and earned him Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week honors.

Andrew Luck – STANFORD – Jr – QB
Luck has led the Cardinal to an 11-1 record and #4 ranking in the latest BCS standings… Has passed for 3,170 yards (261-of-373) and 35 touchdowns… Luck leads the Pac-12 in passing efficiency (167.5)… Has also rushed for 153 yards and scored two touchdowns… He has thrown for two or more touchdowns in all 12 games and has four 300-yard passing efforts, including a season-high 370 in a win over Colorado on October 8.

Tyrann Mathieu – LSU – Soph – CB
Mathieu leads the top-ranked and undefeated LSU defensive unit with 66 tackles and six forced fumbles…. He has recovered four fumbles and intercepted two passes for a Tiger defensive that ranks second in the nation in scoring defense (10.58 points allowed per game)… Mathieu also averages 13.7 yards a punt return and has one returned for a touchdown… Mathieu has earned Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week honors twice this season (Sept. 25 and Nov. 27).

Trent Richardson – ALABAMA – Jr
RB Richardson has led the second-ranked Crimson Tide to an 11-1 record… Has rushed for 1,263 yards and 20 touchdowns… Richardson has nine 100-yard rushing efforts, including a season-high 203 in a win over Auburn on November 26 which earned him Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week honors… He has scored at least two rushing touchdowns in seven games this season, including a season-high four in a victory over Ole Miss on October 15.

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.

Claiborne & Barron Head 2011 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Finalists

Finalists Named For 2011 Bronko Nagurski Trophy

Photo - CB Morris Claiborne - LSU

FWAA - Five finalists for the 2011 Bronko Nagurski Trophy were announced on Thursday by the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club. Alabama safety Mark Barron, LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly, Illinois end Whitney Mercilus and Penn State tackle Devon Still are vying for one of the FWAA's highest honors, its National Defensive Player of the Year award. The winner will be announced on Dec. 12 and presented the Bronko Nagurski Trophy at a gala banquet at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, N.C., where Georgia head coach Mark Richt will be the keynote speaker. In addition, the FWAA and Charlotte Touchdown Club will award the fifth Bronko Nagurski Legends Award, sponsored by Florida East Coast Railway, to Jack Youngblood, a standout end at Florida and a member of the 1970 FWAA All-America team. The FWAA's National Defensive Player of the Year Award is named after Bronko Nagurski, who dominated college football at the University of Minnesota as a bruising fullback and defensive tackle from 1927-29. He could have been an All-American at any position, playing 60 minutes as the best player wherever he lined up.

A look at the five 2011 Bronko Nagurski Trophy finalists, as selected by the FWAA All-America Committee:

Mark Barron, Free Safety, Alabama, 6-2, 218, Sr.
An anchor of a Crimson Tide defense that ranks No. 1 nationally in the four major statistical categories - rush defense, pass defense, total defense and scoring defense. Barron, a 2010 FWAA All-America, has made 57 tackles this season (33 unassisted) for the once-beaten team. Barron has two interceptions and has made four tackles for seven yards in losses. He has five passes broken up and one quarterback hurry. He had an interception and a fumble recovery in a victory at Penn State.

Morris Claiborne, Cornerback, LSU, 6-0, 185, Jr.
One of the stalwarts on a Tiger unit that ranks among the top six teams in college football in rush, pass, scoring and total defense. He has four interceptions with 128 yards in returns and one touchdown. He has made 38 tackles (22 unassisted) and collected one stop for a loss. Claiborne has broken up five passes and has registered one quarterback hurry. In a 19-6 victory over Mississippi State, he intercepted two passes.

Luke Kuechly, Linebacker, Boston College, 6-3, 237, Jr.
He has 168 tackles - 30 more than anyone else in the nation. He has 89 unassisted and 79 assisted tackles. His unassisted total leads the nation. He also has two interceptions, 10 tackles for loss, a pass breakup and two quarterback hurries. He has double-digit tackles in every game this season. He has played in 36 career games and has had double-digit tackles in 33, including 32 in a row. Kuechly was also a Nagurski finalist in 2010.

Whitney Mercilus, End, Illinois, 6-4, 265, Jr.
Illinois started the season 6-0 and Mercilus is one of the big reasons. He ranks fourth in the country in tackles for loss (17.5). Those tackles total 93 yards in losses, of which 12.5 are sacks (82 yards in losses). He has forced seven fumbles to lead the nation. He has six quarterback hurries and one pass breakup for college football's No. 9 team in total defense (288.3 yards per game). Overall, he has made 47 total tackles (24 assisted).

Devon Still, Tackle, Penn State, 6-5, 310, Sr.
Penn State's defense ranks third in points allowed (12.9 per game), trailing only Alabama and LSU. And the Nittany Lions' defense is eighth nationally in yards allowed per game (287.2). Still has been the defensive leader and ranks sixth in the country in tackles for loss (16.5) for 75 yards, of which four are sacks for 34 yards in losses. He has one pass breakup and one forced fumble. He has 53 total tackles (25 assisted).

The Charlotte Touchdown Club is a non-profit organization founded in 1990 for the purpose of promoting high school, collegiate, and professional football in the Charlotte, N.C., region. The club's activities and services focus community attention on the outstanding citizenship, scholarship, sportsmanship, and leadership of area athletes and
The official website of the Charlotte Touchdown Club is www.touchdownclub.com

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 for a living. 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 game day operations, major awards and its annual All-America team.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy 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, ncfaa.org * All-time Bronko Nagurski Trophy winners (from touchdownclub.com)

Please Note: More information on the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, including the list of all-time winners and finalists as well as the award's logo and high-resolution photos of the finalists, can be found in the awards section of collegepressbox.com, the official media website of the NCFAA. http://www.collegepressbox.com/media/awards/nagurski/index.html

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, 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.

Luck, Griffin & Weeden Top Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Finalists

Luck, Griffin & Weeden Top Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Finalists

Photo – QB Robert Griffin - Baylor

Finalists For Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award

The annual competition to select the top college quarterback in the nation has been narrowed from an original field of 25 to five finalists for the 2011 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.

Named after the man many refer to as the greatest quarterback ever to play football, the prestigious Golden Arm Award is presented annually by the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation, Inc.

Candidates for the Golden Arm Award must be completing their college eligibility or be a fourth-year junior, on schedule to graduate with his class. Candidates are judged upon character, citizenship, scholastic achievement, leadership qualities, and athletic accomplishments.

The five remaining candidates for the 2011 Golden Arm Award are -

* Robert Griffin, III, Baylor, who leads the nation in completion
percentage (78.0), points responsibility (24.0), passing efficiency
(205.71), and has completed 142-of-182 passes for 1,950 yards and 22
touchdowns with only two interceptions;

* Landry Jones, Oklahoma, who has 254 of 393 passes for 3,349 yards
and 9 touchdowns this year, bringing his career totals to 920 completions
for 11,265 yards, and 92 TDs, as well as last year's lop-sided Fiesta Bowl
win over Connecticut;

* Andrew Luck, Stanford, who has passed for 2,424 yards with 26
touchdowns and just five interceptions for a 174.1 passer rating this year,
currently fifth in the country;

* Kellen Moore, Boise State, who has passed for 2,229 yards and 29
touchdowns this year and 147 completions of 20-plus yards in the past three
years, the most of any player during that span; and

* Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State, who has thrown for 3,212 yards and
26 TDs in 2011 and set OSU's single-game passing record with 502 yards
against Kansas State.

The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award will be presented on Friday, December 9 at the Intercontinental Harbor Court, 550 Light Street in downtown Baltimore. The winner will be announced earlier that week.

A number of former Baltimore Colts teammates of Johnny Unitas are expected to be on hand for this year's Golden Arm festivities, including Raymond Berry, Jimmy Orr, and Art Donovan. In addition, former Colt Joe Ehrmann, author of the best-selling book InsideOut Coaching: How Sports Can Transform Lives, will deliver remarks during the award event.

Past winners of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award include Colt McCoy (Texas, 2009), Matt Ryan (Boston College, 2007), Brady Quinn (Notre Dame, 2006), Matt Leinart (USC, 2005), Eli Manning (Ole Miss, 2003), Carson Palmer
(USC, 2002), Peyton Manning (Tennessee, 1997). and Rodney Peete (USC, 1988).

Proceeds from the Golden Arm Award help to support the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation. The Foundation provides financial assistance to underprivileged and deserving young scholar-athletes throughout Maryland and Kentucky.

The namesake of the Golden Arm Award has a storied history. Johnny Unitas was an 18-year veteran of the NFL, who played his collegiate career at the University of Louisville before joining the Baltimore Colts in 1958. His career passing figures include 2,830 pass completions for 40,239 yards, 290 touchdowns and one that may stand forever - throwing a touchdown pass in 47 consecutive games.

Unitas was inducted into Pro Football's Hall of Fame in 1979. Further, the Hall of Fame, in commemorations of the NFL's 25th, 50th, and 75th anniversaries selected Unitas as the top quarterback of all-time. In turn-of-the-century listings, he was named to Sports Illustrated list of top 10 athletes, Time Magazine's list of 10 most influential athletes, and ESPN's series on the 50 greatest athletes of the century.

For more information, visit www.goldenarmfoundation.com
For additional coverage of the 2011 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, visit
http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/college/golden-arm

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, 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.

Crimson Tide & Cowboy Defenders Head 2011 Jim Thorpe Award Semifinalists

2011 Jim Thorpe Award Semifinalists

Photo - CB Morris Claiborne - LSU

Oklahoma State safety Markelle Martin and cornerback Brodrick Brown are two of 15 national semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award given to the nation’s top defensive back, it was announced today.

OSU joins Alabama as the only two schools with multiple players on the Thorpe Award semifinalist list. This week's SEC clash of Alabama and LSU will feature three defensive backs from the Thorpe award list. Most NFL scouts believe that as many as 8 defensive backs from this game will eventually start as pro defenders. Our highest rated cornerback Pro Prospect for the NFL Draft 2012 currently is Alabama defender Dre Kirkpatrick. He combines rare size and athleticism with speed and physical toughness to match up with premier receivers.

Maybe the best defensive player in the nation, sophomore Tyrann Mathieu of LSU was omitted from this list after a one game suspension in October. Teammate Morris Claiborne has excelled through the first two months of the 2011 season and will be center stage this Saturday night as the Tigers battle the Crimson Tide for undisputed claim for the #1 national ranking.

Cowboy defenders, Martin and Brown have factored prominently in Oklahoma State’s 8-0 start to the season and No. 3 ranking in both the Associated Press poll and BCS rankings. The two are leaders of a Cowboy defense that leads in the nation in turnovers gained, passes intercepted and fumbles recovered.

Martin is the top-ranked safety on Mel Kiper’s Big Board and ranks third on the team with 47 tackles. He adds 4.0 tackles for loss and seven passes deflected. His statistics are even more remarkable given the fact that most teams have avoided his side of the field this season.

Brown has been a key part of Oklahoma State’s turnover surge this season, ranking among the national leaders with four interceptions and two fumble recoveries. He has logged 25 tackles, two tackles for loss and ties with Martin for the team lead with seven passes defended.

University of South Carolina senior defensive back Antonio Allen was also named by the Jim Thorpe Association for the 2011 Jim Thorpe Award. Allen is a 6-2, 202-pounder who leads the Gamecocks with 62 tackles, an average of 7.8 per game, and has four games of 10 or more tackles this season. He has recovered three fumbles, has forced three fumbles and has three interceptions. He has scored a pair of touchdowns, returning a fumble against East Carolina and an interception at Georgia.

The presentation of the Thorpe Award will be featured on The Home Depot College Football Awards live on Thursday, Dec. 8, at 8 p.m. CT on ESPN. The show, hosted by ESPN’s Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard will feature the live presentation of nine player awards, along with the recipients of Disney’s Spirit Award; The Home Depot Coach of the Year Award, the NCFAA (National College Football Awards Association) Contributions to College Football Award; and student-athletes selected to the Walter Camp All-America Team.

Jim Thorpe Award Semifinalists

Antonio Allen - South Carolina
David Amerson - North Carolina State
Jonathan Banks - Mississippi State
Mark Barron - Alabama
Brandon Boykin - Georgia
Brodrick Brown - Oklahoma State
Morris Claiborne - LSU
Casey Hayward - Vanderbilt
Jayron Hosley - Virginia Tech
Tony Jefferson - Oklahoma
Dre Kirkpatrick - Alabama
Nigel Malone - Kansas State
Markelle Martin - Oklahoma State
T.J. McDonald - USC
Chase Minnifield - Virginia

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, 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.

QB Brandon Weeden Tops Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Finalists

QB Brandon Weeden Tops 2011 Johnny Unitas Award Finalists

QB Brandon Weeden – OSU

The list of candidates for the 2011 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm, Award has been narrowed to 10 top college quarterbacks, including Oklahoma St’s Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma ’s Landry Jones, Houston ’s Case Keenum, and Stanford’s Andrew Luck.
.
Weeden is college football's oldest QB. He turned 28 years old last Friday, as old as half of the current starting NFL QBs. Weeden has only six on 260 passing attempts, while his touchdown total has soared up to 16. Last week against Texas, he set three new school records for passes (60), completions (47) and passing yards (438).

For the 2011 season after six games, he has completed 189 passes of 260 attempts for an amazing 72.7% for 2098 yards with 16 TDs and 6 interceptions. He is on pace to throw for over 4000 yards with 35+ TD passes leading the Cowboys potent passing attack.

2011 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award

Johnny Unitas award was narrowed from an original field of 25, to 10 college QBs in the running for the Golden Arm Award.

The 10 Finalists for the 2011 Golden Arm Award are:
· Nick Foles - Arizona
· Robert Griffin - Baylor
· Landry Jones - Oklahoma
· Case Keenum - Houston
· Andrew Luck - Stanford
· Kellen Moore - Boise St
· Ryan Tannehill - Texas A & M
· Brandon Weeden - Oklahoma St
· Russell Wilson - Wisconsin
· Tyler Wilson - Arkansas

Named after the man many refer to as the greatest quarterback ever to play football, the prestigious Golden Arm Award is presented annually by the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation, Inc. Candidates for the Golden Arm Award must be completing their college eligibility or be a fourth-year junior, on schedule to graduate with his class. Candidates are judged upon character, citizenship, scholastic achievement, leadership qualities, and athletic accomplishments.

The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award will be presented on Friday, December 9 in downtown Baltimore. A number of former Baltimore Colts teammates will be there, including Raymond Berry, Jimmy Orr, and Art Donovan.

Since 1987, past winners of the award include Colt McCoy ( Texas , 2009), Matt Ryan ( Boston College , 2007), Brady Quinn (Notre Dame, 2006), Matt Leinart (USC, 2005), Eli Manning (Ole Miss, 2003), Carson Palmer (USC, 2002), Peyton Manning ( Tennessee , 1997). and Rodney Peete (USC, 1988).

Proceeds from the Golden Arm Awards help to support the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation. The Foundation provides financial assistance to underprivileged and deserving young scholar-athletes throughout Maryland and Kentucky .

The namesake of the Golden Arm Award has a storied history. Johnny Unitas was an 18-year veteran of the NFL, who played his collegiate career at the University of Louisville before joining the Baltimore Colts in 1958. His career passing figures include 2,830 pass completions for 40,239 yards, 290 TD passes and one that may stand forever – throwing a TD pass in 47 consecutive games.

Unitas was inducted into Pro Football’s Hall of Fame in 1979. Further, the Hall of Fame, in commemorations of the NFL’s 25th, 50th, and 75th anniversaries selected Unitas as the top QB k of all-time. In turn-of-the-century listings, he was named to Sports Illustrated list of top 10 athletes, Time Magazine’s list of 10 most influential athletes, and ESPN’s series on the 50 greatest athletes of the century.

For more information, visit www.goldenarmfoundation.com

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Thorpe and All-American teams. 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 is also a member of the FWAA and voter in College team and player awards.

T.J. McDonald - USC Named the Jim Thorpe Winner

T.J. McDonald of USC Named the Jim Thorpe Defensive Back of the Week Award

Southern Cal safety T.J. McDonald wins the Jim Thorpe weekly award after making several big plays in their 48-41 win over Arizona. McDonald had another strong performance that included six tackles, a pass break up and two key interceptions in the 1st quarter that allowed USC to take an early 17-0 lead.

Photo - Safety T.J. McDonald – USC

McDonald also sealed the Trojans win by recovering Arizona’s onside kick with a minute left after the Wildcats had cut the lead to seven. Also noteworthy of McDonald’s outstanding effort was his first interception ended Arizona quarterback Nick Foles’ streak of 210 passes without an interception dating back to 2010.

McDonald who was named a team captain this season was also a member of the 2011 Jim Thorpe Award Preseason Watch List after earning second team All-Pac-10 honors a season ago. He ranks as DraftInsiders.com #1 safety for the NFL Draft currently. As a junior, he would have to declare in January 2012 to enter the NFL process.

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards. He has voted in the Jim Thorpe award for the past 15 years. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game.

Honorable Mention Players for Week Five:

Jarred Holley, Pittsburgh, Junior Free Safety-Holley had a team-high 10 tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble in Pittsburgh’s 44-17 win over USF. Holley spearheaded a Pitt defense that held USF to nearly 100 yards below its season average and 28.5 points below their season scoring average.

Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma, Sophomore Nickel Back Safety-Three Jefferson interceptions on three straight drives powered a second quarter scoring surge in Oklahoma’s 62-6 rout of Ball State. All three of Jefferson’s interceptions led to Sooner touchdowns and they came against Ball State quarterback Keith Wenning who had not thrown an interception in 176 attempts.

Tyrann Mathieu, LSU, Sophomore Cornerback - Mathieu continued his impressive sophomore campaign with five tackles, one sack, two forced fumbles, returning one 23 yards for a touchdown in LSU’s 35-7 win over Kentucky.

Keith Tandy, West Virginia, Senior Cornerback-Tandy had two interceptions that he returned for a combined 29 yards along with two pass breakups and three solo tackles in West Virginia’s 55-10 win over Bowling Green.

About the Jim Thorpe Award:
The Thorpe Award, one of the most coveted awards in college football, is celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2011. The Award, established in 1986, is named after history’s greatest all-around athlete, Jim Thorpe. Thorpe excelled as a running back, passer and kicker on the offensive side of the ball, but also stood out as a defensive back. In addition to his legendary performance on the football field, Thorpe played professional baseball and won Olympic gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon.

The candidates for the award are selected by a “screening committee” of Jim Thorpe Association members who follow several players throughout the season, watching games and researching information sources to grade Thorpe Award candidates on the basis of performance on the field, athletic ability and character. The committee then narrows the field to three finalists and the names of these finalists are submitted to a national panel of about 50 sports writers, sportscasters, coaches and former players who vote to determine the winner.

The Thorpe Award Winner is selected from three finalists and will be announced at The Home Depot College Football Awards Show on December 8, 2011 on ESPN.

The 25th Anniversary Jim Thorpe Award Banquet will be held on Tuesday, February 7, 2012 in Oklahoma City, OK.

The Jim Thorpe 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 website, ncfaa.org.

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Thorpe and All-American teams. 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 is also a member of the FWAA and voter in College team and player awards.

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