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College Football Post-Week 12 Award Watch


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 12th week of the season.

Davey O’Brien (Top quarterback)
Our leader: Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel
The allegations against Jameis Winston are too much of a cloud over his season at this point. Manziel’s interception numbers are high (11 picks) for a national award winner, particularly against a field that includes Marcus Mariota and Bryce Petty. But Manziel is third in the nation with 31 touchdown passes.
Others: Northern Illinois’ Jordan Lynch, Alabama's AJ McCarron, Oregon's Marcus Mariota, Baylor’s Bryce Petty, Florida State’s Jameis Winston

Doak Walker (Top running back)

Our leader: Boston College’s Andre Williams
Williams set an ACC record with 339 rushing yards against NC State last week. The Boston College running back leads the nation in yards (1,810) and yards per game (181).
Others: Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah, Western Kentucky’s Antonio Andrews, Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey, South Carolina’s Mike Davis

Biletnikoff (Top wide receiver)

Our leader: Texas A&M’s Mike Evans
Evans is third in the nation with 1,263 yards to go with 12 touchdowns. The Aggies sophomore is one of two receivers with fewer than 60 catches and 1,000 yards.
Others: Fresno State’s Davante Adams, Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks, Baylor’s Antwan Goodley, Vanderbilt’s Jordan Matthews, Penn State’s Allen Robinson

Mackey (Top tight end)

Our leader: Texas Tech’s Jace Amaro

Amaro finally received attention from the Mackey Award when he was selected as a semifinalist this week. Amaro is second in the nation with 92 receptions in 11 games. No other tight end has more than 49 receptions.
Others: North Carolina’s Eric Ebron

Outland (Top interior lineman)

Our leader: Alabama’s Cyrus Kouandjio
Kouandjio leads an Alabama offensive line that has improve as the season has progressed. The Crimson Tide rank ninth in yards per carry.
Others: Pittsburgh’s Aaron Donald, Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews, Baylor’s Cyril Richardson, Florida State’s Byron Stork, Stanford’s David Yankey

Nagurski/Bednarik (Defensive player of the year)

Our leader: Alabama’s C.J. Mosley

The leader of Alabama’s defense has come on strong of late with 12 tackles against LSU and 10 against Mississippi State. The linebacker had three quarterback hurries in 20-7 win over Mississippi State.
Others: UCLA’s Anthony Barr, Pittsburgh’s Aaron Donald, Missouri’s Michael Sam, Stanford’s Shayne Skov, BYU’s Kyle Van Noy

Lombardi Award (Top lineman or linebacker)

Our leader: Mosley

Others: UCLA’s Anthony Barr, Pittsburgh’s Aaron Donald, Stanford’s Trent Murphy, Baylor’s Cyril Richardson, Missouri’s Michael Sam, BYU’s Kyle Van Noy, Stanford’s David Yankey

Butkus (Top linebacker)

Our leader: Mosley
Others: UCLA’s Anthony Barr, Wisconsin’s Chris Borland, Stanford’s Trent Murphy, Ohio State’s Ryan Shazier, Stanford’s Shayne Skov, BYU’s Kyle Van Noy

Thorpe (Top defensive back)

Our leader: Michigan State’s Darqueze Dennard

Dennard had an interception and a forced fumble in Michigan State’s dominant defensive performance against Michigan.
Others: Oregon’s Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oklahoma State’s Justin Gilbert, Virginia Tech’s Kyle Fuller, Florida State’s Lamarcus Joyner

Lou Groza (Top kicker)

Our leader: Texas’ Anthony Fera
The Longhorns’ kicker has converted 17 of 18 kicks this season, tied for the highest percentage for anyone with more than 14 attempts.
Others: Florida State’s Robert Aguayo, Texas Tech’s Ryan Bustin, Maryland’s Brad Craddock, Arizona State’s Zane Gonzalez, Oklahoma’s Michael Hunnicutt, NC State’s Niklas Sade

Ray Guy (Top punter)

Our leader: Tennessee’s Michael Palardy
Palardy averages 44.6 yards per punt as the Volunteers rank 18th in net punting.

Others: Ole Miss’ Tyler Campbell, Texas A&M’s Drew Kaser, Alabama’s Cody Mandell

Freshman of the year

Our leader: Florida State’s Jameis Winston

Winston is second in the nation at 11.3 yards per attempt and second in passing efficiency, both behind Baylor’s Bryce Petty.
Others: Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg, UCLA's Myles Jack

Coach of the year
Our leader: Baylor’s Art Briles

Baylor overcame an early deficit to defeat Texas Tech and now faces the biggest game in decades for the Bears. Baylor could finish the week at No. 3 in the BCS standings.

Others: Duke’s David Cutcliffe, Auburn’s Gus Malzahn, Missouri’s Gary Pinkel

Broyles Award (Top assistant)

Our leader: Michigan State’s Pat Narduzzi
Narduzzi may have one of the best defenses of the BCS era. Michigan State ranks first in the nation in total defense and second in pass efficiency defense
Others: Baylor’s Phil Bennett, LSU’s Cam Cameron, Florida State’s Jeremy Pruitt, Alabama’s Kirby Smart