Get the Athlon Sports Newsletter
Mariota takes top QB honors, Barr and Beasley make bid for defensive POY
The Heisman is but one award, and one award isn’t enough to contain the best of college football.
While we love prognosticating who will win college football’s most coveted individual trophy, we also love the glut of postseason awards that go to each position, each with a nod to the game’s history from Davey O’Brien and Doak Walker to Bronko Nagurski and Jim Thorpe to Ray Guy and Lou Groza.
Everyone tracks the progress in the Heisman race, but Athlon Sports will try to keep an eye on who will take home college football’s positional awards.
Here’s our look at the “other” trophies through the sixth week of the season.
Davey O’Brien (Top quarterback)
Our leader: Oregon’s Marcus Mariota
Mariota had his Heisman moment in a demolition of the Washington defense last week. Mariota completed a season-high 77.4 percent of his passes and threw for 366 yards and three touchdowns against the Huskies. He has 25 total touchdowns and no turnovers this season
Others: Clemson’s Tajh Boyd, Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, Oregon State’s Sean Mannion, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, Georgi’a Aaron Murray, Baylor’s Bryce Petty
Doak Walker (Top running back)
Our leader: Washington’s Bishop Sankey
Sankey rushed for 167 yards and two touchdowns in a losing effort against Oregon. He leads the nation in 149.8 rushing yards per game.
Others: Western Kentucky’s Antonio Andrews, Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon, Baylor’s Lache Seastrunk
Biletnikoff (Top wide receiver)
Our leader: Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks
The other end of Sean Mannion’s bid for a Pac-12 passing record, Cooks is tied for the national lead in receptions (63) and leads in receiving yards (944) and touchdown catches (11).
Others: Texas A&M’s Mike Evans, Vanderbilt’s Jordan Matthews, Colorado’s Paul Richardson, Penn State’s Allen Robinson
Mackey (Top tight end)
Our leader: Texas Tech’s Jace Amaro
Amaro is tied for seventh nationally with 47 receptions this season for 606 yards. He’s a big target, but he only has one touchdown catch this season. Still, no other tight end has more than 28 catches.
Others: North Carolina’s Eric Ebron
Outland (Top interior lineman)
Our leader: Baylor’s Cyril Richardson
West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said he’d never seen a team establish the line of scrimmage like Baylor did on the way to scoring 73 points two weeks ago. Richardson is a mauler who could be another high draft pick off the Baylor offensive line.
Others: Oregon’s Hroniss Grasu, Oklahoma’s Gabe Ikard, Michigan’s Taylor Lewan, Georgia Tech’s Shaq Mason, Stanford’s David Yankey
Nagurski/Bednarik (Defensive player of the year)
Our leader: Clemson’s Vic Beasley
Beasley has saved Clemson in a pair of close games this season against Boston College and NC State. With 12 tackles for a loss and nine sacks, Beasley is having the kind of season many envisioned for the defensive end at the other South Carolina school.
Others: UCLA’s Anthony Barr, Ohio State’s Ryan Shazier, Stanford’s Shayne Skov, BYU’s Kyle Van Noy
Lombardi Award (Top lineman or linebacker)
Our leader: Beasley
Others: UCLA’s Vic Beasley, Michigan State’s Shilique Calhoun, Pittsburgh’s Aaron Donald, Missouri’s Michael Sam, Ohio State’s Ryan Shazier, BYU’s Kyle Van Noy, USC’s Leonard Williams
Butkus (Top linebacker)
Our leader: UCLA’s Anthony Barr
Barr has recorded 10 tackles for a loss, four sacks and four forced fumbles in four games this season. Up next: A two-game road stretch against Stanford and Oregon.
Others: Wisconsin’s Chris Borland, Stanford’s Trent Murphy, Boston College’s Kevin Pierre-Louis, Ohio State’s Ryan Shazier, Stanford’s Shayne Skov
Thorpe (Top defensive back)
Our leader: Virginia Tech’s Kyle Fuller
Fuller picked up his second interception of the season against North Carolina two weeks ago and continued to be a lockdown corner in the back end of the Hokies’ defense. Fuller helped hold Pittsburgh quarterback Tom Savage to 44.8 percent passing and 187 yards last week.
Others: Michigan State’s Darqueze Dennard, Oregon’s Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Florida’s Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida State’s Lamarcus Joyner, TCU’s Jason Verrett
Lou Groza (Top kicker)
Our leader: Oklahoma’s Michael Hunnicutt
The Sooners’ offense hasn’t been overwhelming, but Hunnicutt has been there to pick up field goals, converting 14 of 15 this season. Hunnicutt has made all nine attempts in the last three games.
Others: Texas Tech’s Ryan Bustin, Maryland’s Brad Craddock, NC State’s Niklas Sade
Ray Guy (Top punter)
Our leader: Miami (Ohio)’s Zac Murphy
Murphy leads the nation at 47.7 yards per kick on 7.3 punts per game.
Others: Ole Miss’ Tyler Campbell, Memphis’ Tom Hornsey, Alabama’s Cody Mandell
Freshman of the year
Our leader: Florida State’s Jameis Winston
Winston is making a legitimate bid for the Heisman after leading a 63-0 rout of Maryland two weeks ago. The redshirt freshman set season highs in yards (393) and touchdown passes (five) on 23-of-32 passing against the Terrapins. The season-defining moment may be this week’s matchup with Clemson.
Others: Pittsburgh’s Tyler Boyd, Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg, Florida’s Vernon Hargreaves III
Coach of the year
Our leader: Missouri’s Gary Pinkel
No one gave Missouri much of a chance this season in the SEC East, but the Tigers upset an injury-ravaged Georgia team to move to 6-0 overall and 2-0 in the league. The Tigers will attempt to navigate the loaded back end of the schedule without quarterback James Franklin for a few weeks.
Others: Baylor’s Art Briles, Northern Illinois’ Rod Carey, Fresno State’s Tim DeRuyter, Tulane’s Curtis Johnson, Washington’s Steve Sarkisian, Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, Utah’s Kyle Whittingham
Broyles Award (Top assistant)
Our leader: LSU’s Cam Cameron
Zach Mettenberger didn’t have his best game of the season against Florida, but the LSU quarterback still leads the SEC in pass efficiency and yards per attempt.
Others: Baylor’s Phil Bennett, Utah’s Dennis Erickson, Maryland’s Mike Locksley, Clemson’s Chad Morris, Michigan State’s Pat Narduzzi, Texas’ Greg Robinson, Oklahoma’s Mike Stoops