Predicting The Winner Of Every Major College Football Award
NCAA Football: Prediting the Winner of Every Major Award
The 2013 NCAA Football season is shaping up to be a very interesting one. Reigning Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel will be looking to continue his legendary play. Manziel came seemingly out of nowhere last season to become the first freshman to ever win the Heisman. His unorthodox and spectacular play gained him a ton of popularity last season.
Manziel's new-found fame has seemed to get him into a bit of trouble this offseason. From late-night partying at bars to sitting courtside at NBA Finals games and getting sent home early at the Manning Passing Academy, it has been a very interesting offseason for the young quarterback. Manziel is now being put under the microscope, and he has been ridiculed in the media. If he can go out and play as well as he did last season, his critics will surely quiet down. If he does not, they will only get louder. This will be an interesting story to watch during the season.
Nick Saban's Alabama Crimson Tide are simply the most dominant team in college football right now. The Crimson Tide have won back-to-back championships and appear to be ready to make another run at a title. Saban loses a ton of talent to the NFL each season and continues to reload. Alabama has a seemingly unlimited pipeline of elite talent and will be a force to be reckoned with once again this season.
Obviously, there are other teams who will look to knock Alabama off the top. Manziel's Texas A&M squad, Louisville, Stanford, Oregon, Ohio State and South Carolina are all teams that will surely be right in the thick of things and should be able to make a three-peat tough for Alabama.
There is currently a very impressive amount of talent in college football. Manziel is just one of many top athletes that could win the Heisman this season. As a matter of fact, there are many great candidates for every award. Here are my predictions for each major college football award in a 2013 season that could be one for the record books.
Davey O'Brein Award (Best QB) — Teddy Bridgewater
There are many great candidates for the Davey O'Brein Award, but Teddy Bridgewater is a guy that I think will have a huge season. He really started to come on at the end of last season and looks to have some room to grow. Bridgewater has a strong arm, passes with great touch and accuracy and has great athleticism. Bridgewater is a guy that I definitely have my eye on and is my pick as the best QB in college football.
Johnny Unitas Award (Best Senior QB) — A.J. McCarron
As tough as the Davey O'Brein Award was to pick, the Johnny Unitas is pretty easy. I think there are three elite quarterbacks in college football this season: Manziel, Bridgewater and A.J. McCarron. With the other two being underclassmen, this was an easy decision for me. McCarron is a great QB who has led his team to back-to-back national titles. Last season, he started to throw the ball more to become an elite QB. The Alabama senior is in for a big season that will probably win him some awards.
Doak Walker Award (Best RB) — T.J. Yeldon
Last season, T.J. Yeldon was fantastic in a limited role as a true freshman. Playing behind Eddie Lacy, Yeldon had 1,108 yards on 175 rushes and 12 TDs. He is a powerful back with deceptive speed. I think that Yeldon will be even better in an expanded role with Lacy leaving for the NFL. He is my pick to win the Doak Walker Award.
Fred Biletnikoff Award (Best WR) — Marqise Lee
Marqise Lee won the Fred Biletnikoff award for the best wide receiver in the league last season. He is a strong candidate to be a repeat winner. Even though Lee is only 6-foot-1, he uses his size very well when fighting for the ball. His athleticism is elite, which helps make up for his lack of height.
John Mackey Award (Best TE) — Chris Coyle
Chris Coyle is a big, fast and athletic tight end. It appears that Coyle will be featured in the Arizona State offense this season and should put up some big numbers. Tight end is tough to predict, but Coyle is my pick to win the Mackey Award.
Outland Trophy (Most Outstanding Interior Lineman) — Jake Matthews
Last year's Outland Trophy winner was Texas A&M left tackle Luke Joeckel. The favorite for the Outland Trophy going in to this season is his replacement Jake Matthews, who is now sliding over to the left side of the line. Matthews is a fantastic run and pass blocker. He is your prototypical left tackle and he will be a huge key to the success of Texas A&M this season.
Rimington Trophy (Best Center) — Gabe Ikard
Gabe Ikard is the best center in college football and is the clear favorite to win the Rimington Trophy. Ikard is fantastic at both run and pass blocking, and is a strong leader on the Oklahoma offensive line. If the Sooners are competitive in the Big 12 this season, Ikard will be a big reason why.
Butkus Award (Most Outstanding Linebacker) — C.J. Mosley
Another Alabama guy. Linebacker C.J. Mosley is a very explosive player. He uses his elite athleticism very well in both the run game and in pass coverage. He has great speed for a linebacker but he is also a very tough player. This one was fairly easy for me as I think Mosley is easily the best linebacker in college football.
Jim Thorpe Award (Best Defensive Back) — Tre Boston
You may not have ever heard of Tre Boston, but this guy will someday be a household name. Boston uses his elite speed to make plays all over the field. He reminds me a lot of Troy Polamalu with his playmaking skills. Boston is great in pass coverage and against the run from his free safety position.
Lou Groza Award (Best Kicker) — Chandler Catanzaro
Chandler Catanzaro is one of the top candidates for the Lou Groza Award this season. Catanzaro made 18 of 19 field goals in his junior year last season and looks to build on that with a strong senior campaign.
Ray Guy Award (Best Punter) — Kyle Christy
Kyle Christy is a big-time weapon for the Florida Gators. His strong leg and great accuracy helps control field position for the Gators. Christy is the favorite to win the Ray Guy Award this season.
Chuck Bedarik Award (Defensive Player of the Year) — Jadeveon Clowney
Jadeveon Clowney is an absolute monster. This guy has to give SEC quarterbacks nightmares. Clowney's incredible combination of power and speed makes him an unstoppable force on defense. He is an easy choice as the favorite for the Chuck Bedarik Award.
Maxwell Award (Player of the Year Voted by the Media) — Johnny Manziel
I think Manziel will have another great season in 2013. Coaches will know how to prepare for him better, but Manziel is still a great player that should still put up some huge numbers. The fact that this award is voted on by the media helps Manziel as he is the most popular player in college football.
Walter Camp Award (Player of the Year Voted by Coaches) — Jadeveon Clowney
Clowney is an absolute beast. There really isn't another way to look at it. He single-handedly makes the South Carolina defense elite. Clowney is one of the best defensive players that I have ever seen in college football. I think that college football coaches will appreciate what Clowney does this season and will vote him as the winner of the Walter Camp Award.
Heisman Trophy — Teddy Bridgewater
As I said before, I am huge on Bridgewater this season. Clowney may get a little consideration, but it is unlikely that a defensive player will win the Heisman. The race comes down to three players in my eyes: Bridgewater, McCarron and Manziel. Each player would be a great pick, but I think Bridgewater will be the guy this season. His elite passing abilities coupled with his great athleticism is unmatched in college football. Bridgewater will make a ton of plays for Louisville this season as they look to make a National Championship run.