Skip to main content

College Football Post-Week 9 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 ninth week of the season.

Davey O’Brien (Top quarterback)
Our leader: Oregon’s Marcus Mariota

Mariota completed all 10 of his pass attempts in the second half as Oregon pulled away from UCLA last week. Mariota has 20 touchdown passes without an interception. No quarterback since at least 2007 has finished a season with 20 touchdowns and fewer than three picks.
Others: Oregon State’s Sean Mannion, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, Baylor’s Bryce Petty

Doak Walker (Top running back)

Our leader: Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey
Carey is quietly carrying Arizona’s offense single-handedly, leading the nation with 153.3 rushing yards per game. With four touchdowns against Colorado, Carey has 10 scores in six games.
Others: Western Kentucky’s Antonio Andrews, Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon, Washington’s Bishop Sankey, Baylor’s Lache Seastrunk

Biletnikoff (Top wide receiver)

Our leader: Texas A&M’s Mike Evans
Oregon State’s Brandon Cooks still leads every receiving category, but Evans is second with 1,101 yards and 11 touchdowns ... on 37 fewer receptions. Evans also averages 22.9 yards per catch, most for any receiver with more than 40 catches.
Others: Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks, Baylor’s Antwan Goodley, Vanderbilt’s Jordan Matthews, Baylor’s Tevin Reese, Colorado’s Paul Richardson, Penn State’s Allen Robinson

Mackey (Top tight end)

Our leader: Texas Tech’s Jace Amaro

Amaro had a fumble against Oklahoma, but he remains the nation’s most productive tight end. He has caught at least eight passes in seven consecutive games and at least 119 in the last three.
Others: North Carolina’s Eric Ebron

Outland (Top interior lineman)

Our leader: Baylor’s Cyril Richardson
Given stiff competition at quarterback, running back and receiver, Richardson may be Baylor’s best best for an individual award on the Baylor offense despite the prolific numbers.
Others: Oregon’s Hroniss Grasu, Oklahoma’s Gabe Ikard, Alabama’s Cyrus Kouandjio, Georgia Tech’s Shaq Mason, Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews, Stanford’s David Yankey

Nagurski/Bednarik (Defensive player of the year)

Our leader: Stanford’s Trent Murphy

Anthony Barr and Michael Sam are coming off losses, and Kyle Van Noy had two tackles against Boise State. In that case, it’s a good time to take a look at Murphy. The Stanford linebacker has anchored the defense with 10 tackles for a loss in the last four games, including dominant defensive performances against UCLA and Oregon State.
Others: UCLA’s Anthony Barr, Clemson’s Vic Beasley, Missouri’s Michael Sam, Ohio State’s Ryan Shazier, Stanford’s Shayne Skov

Lombardi Award (Top lineman or linebacker)

Our leader: Murphy

Others: UCLA’s Anthony Barr, Clemson’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

Butkus (Top linebacker)

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

Thorpe (Top defensive back)

Our leader: Florida State’s Lamarcus Joyner

Joyner is one of the nation’s most versatile DBs, recording an interception, three forced fumbles and four tackles for a loss this season. He’ll have a chance to shine again this week against Miami.
Others: Michigan State’s Darqueze Dennard, Oregon’s Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oklahoma State’s Justin Gilbert, Virginia Tech’s Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech’s Kyle Fuller, TCU’s Jason Verrett

Lou Groza (Top kicker)

Our leader: Oklahoma’s Michael Hunnicutt
The Sooners’ kicker has made 12 of his last 13 field goals and 16 of 18 for the season.
Others: Texas Tech’s Ryan Bustin, Maryland’s Brad Craddock, Arizona State’s Zane Gonzalez

Ray Guy (Top punter)

Our leader: Miami (Ohio)’s Zac Murphy
Murphy leads the nation at 48.1 yards per kick on 6.8 punts per game.

Others: Ole Miss’ Tyler Campbell, Tennessee’s Michael Palardy, Iowa State's Kirby Van Der Kamp

Freshman of the year

Our leader: Florida State’s Jameis Winston

Winston is leading a national championship contending team while making a case for the Heisman. Winston continued FSU’s hot starts by completing his 11 of 14 passes for 228 yards with three touchdowns against NC State ... in the first quarter.
Others: Arkansas’s Alex Collins, Virginia Tech’s Kendall Fuller, Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg, Florida’s Vernon Hargreaves III

Coach of the year
Our leader: Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher

Florida State has been dominant whether its facing NC State, Maryland or Clemson. The Seminoles are poised to have their best season since the Bobby Bowden glory years.

Others: Baylor’s Art Briles, Miami’s Al Golden, Tulane’s Curtis Johnson, Texas Tech’s Kliff Kingsbury, Houston’s Tony Levine, Auburn’s Gus Malzahn, Missouri’s Gary Pinkel

Broyles Award (Top assistant)

Our leader: Michigan State’s Pat Narduzzi
The Spartans are allowing 54.9 rushing yards per game. No other team is allowing fewer than 80 yards on the ground per game. Michigan State also leads the nation with 215.5 yards allowed per game, nearly 30 fewer than the next best team.
Others: Baylor’s Phil Bennett, LSU’s Cam Cameron, Florida State’s Jeremy Pruitt, Texas’ Greg Robinson, Alabama’s Kirby Smart