Category Archives: Awards

2018 Sun Belt Awards

SUN BELT CONFERENCE

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: JUSTICE HANSEN, ARKANSAS STATE

Photo: RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

Hansen, a two-time, All-Sun Belt first-team selection and 2017 Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year, leads the league in total offense per game (297.3), passing yards per game (264.3), passing touchdowns (27) and points responsible for (202). His 27 passing touchdowns are already the second-most in school history. Hansen enters the Red Wolves’ bowl game in the conference’s career top 10 in two categories – second in passing touchdowns (83) and sixth all-time leader in total offense (10,807). He is listed on eight major award watch lists, including the Walter Camp, Maxwell and Senior Bowl.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: RONHEEN BINGHAM, ARKANSAS STATE

Bingham paces the Sun Belt and ranks tied for 21st in nation in sacks (9.0, 0.75 per game). He also leads the league and ranks tied for 11th in tackles for loss (18.5, 1.5 per game). Bingham has been responsible for at least a 0.5 tackle for loss in 10 games and credited for multiple tackles behind the line of scrimmage in six outings. His 5.4 tackles per game ranks tied for eighth in the nation among defensive linemen. Bingham posted double-figure stops in two games, including a career-high 13 tackles against Louisiana on Oct. 27.  

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: ZAC THOMAS, APPALACHIAN STATE

Thomas tops the Sun Belt and ranks 13th in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision with a 79.9 QBR rating. He ranks among the nation’s best in passing efficiency (152.6), yards per attempt and yards per completion. Appalachian State is 8-1 overall and 6-0 in conference games this season in games Thomas played the full game. He threw 21 touchdowns in his sophomore campaign.

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: KIRK MERRITT, ARKANSAS STATE

Photo: Thomas Metthe/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Merritt has come up big in his first season with the Red Wolves, leading the Sun Belt in receptions per game (6.3), which sits tied for 20th nationally. He also leads the league in receptions (75) and receiving yards (939). Merritt hauled in a career-high 11 receptions at Georgia Southern on Sept. 29 and at Coastal Carolina at Nov. 10, which tied for seventh-most in a single game in school history. In the victory over the Chanticleers, his 11 catches went for a career-high 180 yards, which ranks as the ninth-most in school history.

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: MARCEL MURRAY, ARKANSAS STATE

Murray has made an immediate impact in his first season at Arkansas State, finishing the regular season ranked in the Sun Belt’s top 10 in two categories – fourth in rushing yards per attempt (5.8) among players with at least 100 carries and tied for eighth in rushing yards per game (66.1). He is the only freshman in the Sun Belt on offense or defense ranked among the top 10 in the league in multiple statistical categories. Murray recorded two 100-yard rushing games, including a career-high 121 yards against Louisiana.

COACH OF THE YEAR: SCOTT SATTERFIELD, APPALACHIAN STATE

Photo: Robert McDuffle-USA TODAY Sports

Satterfield guided Appalachian State to the East Division title and the right to host the inaugural Sun Belt Football Championship Game with a 9-2 record overall and a 7-1 mark in league play. He earned his 50th win at the school with the victory over Troy on Nov. 24. Satterfield ranks third in coaching wins in program history behind Jerry Moore (215) and E.C. Duggins (57). He is tied for sixth nationally with 39 wins since 2015 and holds a 43-7 record against opponents from Group of Five conferences and a 34-6 record against Sun Belt opponents.

2018 CUSA Awards

CONFERENCE USA

CUSA MVP: BRENT STOCKSTILL, QB, MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE

Photo: Jim Brown/USA TODAY Sports

Middle Tennessee graduate QB Brent Stockstill is the recipient of the C-USA Most Valuable Player Award. Stockstill leads C-USA in completions (301) and touchdown passes (28) this season, ranking fourth in the FBS in completion percentage (70.5) and 15th nationally with 3,214 passing yards.  He has thrown multiple scores in seven straight games and nine total outings on the year, topping the 300-yard mark in passing four times.  He’s also tied for 20th all-time in the NCAA in touchdown passes (105), and the owner of virtually every passing record in school history.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: JAYLON FERGUSON, LOUISIANA TECH

Photo: Tom Morris/USA TODAY Sports

In 2018, Louisiana Tech’s Jaylon Ferguson passed Terrell Suggs (Arizona State) to become the NCAA all-time sack leader with 45 career sacks. He leads the FBS with 17.5 sacks in 2018, while ranking second nationally with 26 tackles for loss.  Ferguson broke his own school record for single-season sacks, which he set in 2016 with 14.5.  A four-time all-conference selection, he has recorded 64 total tackles this season, including 37 solo stops, while he has also recorded nine quarterback hurries, three pass breakups and two forced fumbles. 

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: MASON FINE, NORTH TEXAS

Photo: Gary Sanderson

North Texas junior Mason Fine becomes the fifth player in C-USA history to be named Offensive Player of the Year multiple times, winning the honor for the second straight season.  He ranks eighth in the FBS in passing yards (3,743) and is eighth in the FBS in passing yards per game (311.2) through 12 games.  Fine has completed 295-of-457 passes (64.6%) for 3,743 yards and 27 touchdowns with only five interceptions.  He topped the 300-yard mark five times and the 400-yard mark twice, while throwing for 240 or more in all but one outing.  Fine, who also had a pair of rushing scores, threw multiple touchdowns in 10 games while becoming the all-time leading passer in program history in less than three full seasons (9,358 yards).

SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE YEAR: JACK FOX, P, RICE

Several NFL teams have Fox on their radar.
Photo: Rice Athletics

Fox led C-USA in punting for the second consecutive year, finishing with a career-best 45.5 average.  His average was second best in the nation among punters with at least 60 punts in the regular season and ranked 8th nationally among all punters.  He topped the FBS with 3,636 punting yards in the regular season, which also set a school record.  He had 26 punts of 50 yards or longer and he placed 31 punts inside the 20-yard line, both top figures in the conference. 

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: CHRIS ROBINSON, QB, FLORIDA ATLANTIC and ISAIAH GREEN, QB, MARSHALL

Photo: FAU Athletics

Robison played in all 12 games for the Owls, completing 63.2 percent of his passes (192-of-304) for 2,533 yards.  He threw 12 touchdowns and rushed for three scores.  Robison was named C-USA Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 10 after he set a school record with 471 passing yards and tossed three TDs in a win over Air Force. 

Photo: Herald-Dispatch

Green placed fourth in C-USA with an average of 248.7 passing yards per game.  He has thrown at least one touchdown pass in all nine games he has played (eight starts), totaling 15.  Green has five games with multiple TD tosses, with a season-high three in a win over Eastern Kentucky.

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: JAMES MORGAN, QB, FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL

Photo: Florida International University

Morgan, a junior graduate transfer from Bowling Green, started every game under center for the Panthers. He threw for a school-record 26 touchdowns and 2,764 yards, which ranks second in a FIU single season.  He lead C-USA in passer efficiency rating (157.6) and passing yards per attempt (8.4).  Morgan had a season-best 341-yard passing yards and set a school-record with four touchdown passes against Arkansas-Pine Bluff in late September. 

COACH OF THE YEAR: RICK STOCKSTILL, MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE

Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP

After leading his team to an East Division title and a school-record fourth consecutive bowl appearance, Middle Tennessee head coach Rick Stockstill has been named Conference USA Coach of the Year, as voted on by the league’s 14 head coaches. Stockstill has led MT to an 8-5 record this season and bowl against Appalachian State. The Blue Raiders also played in and hosted the C-USA Championship game for the first time.  Middle Tennessee was picked by conference media members in the preseason to finish third in the East Division, but it defied those odds by finishing with a 7-1 league record and its first division title.

2018 MAC Awards

MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: SUTTON SMITH, NO. ILLINOIS

Smith was a finalist for the Ted Hendricks Award.
Photo: Chicago Tribune

Northern Illinois junior defensive end Sutton Smith earned the coveted Vern Smith Leadership Award, indicative of being the top player in the league along with being named the MAC’s Defensive Player of the Year. He was a first-team A.P. All-American. Smith finished the season with 43 solo tackles, 18 assists, 15.0 sacks. He led the nation with 26.5 tackles for loss.

Smith also won the MAC’s Defensive Player of the Year award in 2017. Being a model of hard-work and consistency, his 2018 stats were a mirror of the previous season. Smith looks to be a mid-round prospect.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: TYREE JACKSON, BUFFALO

At 6′ 7″ and 245 lbs., Jackson has scouts taking lots of notes on his game.
Photo: UP12

Buffalo junior quarterback Tyree Jackson was named the MAC’s Offensive Player of the Year, with UB head coach Lance Leipold getting the Coach of the Year Award. Jackson led the Bulls with 2,605 yards passing this season, 25 touchdowns and a 55.5 percent completion rate.

Draft pundits either glow when speaking of Jackson’s size and potential or growl when discussing his lack of accuracy, lamenting he didn’t return to school for another year – there hasn’t been much in-between. Johnson is expected to be picked in the second or third round.

SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE YEAR: DIONTAE JOHNSON, TOLEDO

Johnson was the most dangerous return man in the MAC.
Photo: Toledo Athletics

Johnson lead the MAC with an average punt return of 18.3 yards, and he is second in kickoff return average at 25.8 yards per attempt. Johnson is the only player in the conference to return a punt and kickoff for a touchdown this season. As a receiver, he is tied for the team lead with 43 receptions, leads UT with 663 receiving yards, and has seven touchdown catches. For his career, he averaged 23.4 yards per kickoff return, which would put him third all-time in UT history.

Johnson has declared for the draft and looks to be a mid-late round pick.

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: JARET PATTERSON, BUFFALO

Photo: The Buffalo News/Sharon Cantillon

Patterson leads Buffalo and ranks fifth in the MAC with 874 yards rushing and his 12 touchdowns are tied for third in the league. Patterson has appeared in all 12 games as a freshman and is averaging 5.8 yards per carry and 72.8 yards per game.

“He gets the ball, he makes guys miss, he can run you over,”  said teammate and wide receiver Anthony Johnson said. “He just fights. I love that guy. He’s really a great freshman and he has a few more years. He’s going to be an outstanding player.”

COACH OF THE YEAR: LANCE LEIPOLD, BUFFALO

Before arriving in Buffalo, Lance Leipold went 106-6 with Div III powerhouse Wisconsin-Whitewater. Photo: UB Athletics

Leipold led the Bulls to a 10-2 record this season. Leipold is in his fourth season leading the Buffalo program and has the Bulls in the Marathon MAC Football Championship Game for the first time since 2008.  Leipold has led the program to its first 10-win season in school history. The Bulls were bowl eligible for the second consecutive season as the program’s win total has increased from two wins in 2016, six wins in 2017 and 10 wins in 2018. The ten wins are the most a Buffalo team has won in a season since joining the FBS ranks in 1999.

2018 Mountain West Awards

MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: JEFFREY ALLISON, FRESNO STATE

Allison has declared for the 2019 NFL draft.

Allison had a break-out year in 2017, emerging as one of the key players in Fresno State’s dramatic turnaround with 126 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss in 2017, two sacks and two forced fumbles.

He followed that performance by becoming the Mountain West Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year this fall, leading the Bulldogs to their first conference championship since 2013 with 132 tackles, six tackles for loss and two interceptions.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: BRETT RYPIEN, BOISE STATE

Rypein etched his name into the Mountain West history books in 2018, becoming the conference’s all-time leader in passing yards (13,456), completions (1,021), and 300-yard games (21). He eclipsed San Diego State’s Ryan Lindley’s (2008-11) yardage and completion marks of 12,690 and 961, respectively, on Nov. 9 against Fresno State, and passed BYU’s Max Hall for most 300-yard performances Nov. 24 against Utah State.

SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE YEAR: COOPER ROTHE, WYOMING

Rothe, the reigning MW Special Teams Player of the Week, leads the nation in field-goal percentage (94.1) and point-after percentage (100.0). Rothe made his first 15 field goals this season and 18 in a row dating back to last season — the longest streak in the nation at the time — before his lone miss against San Jose State on Nov. 3.

A Lou Groza Award finalist, Rothe has connected on 88.6 percent of his field goals (31 of 35) over the last two seasons. He is the first Wyoming player to win either an offensive, defensive or special teams postseason player of the year award since the Mountain West began in 1999.

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: TOA TAUA, NEVADA

In the Mountain West, Taua led all freshmen in total rushing yards and rushing yards per game (68.0) and is ranked fifth in the league in rushing yards per carry (5.23) among all classes.

Taua is tied for fifth on the team with 20 receptions for 194 yards and a touchdown. The former Brave also completed four passes for 93 yards on the season, including a 73-yard touchdown pass against Portland State on Aug. 31.

COACH OF THE YEAR: MATT WELLS, UTAH STATE

After going 44-34 at Utah State, Wells has recenlty been named the new head coach at Texas Tech.

Wells, who was also named the Mountain West Coach of the Year in 2013, is the first coach in school history to earn multiple coach of the year honors. Overall, he is one of just five coaches in school history to be so honored as by the Big West Conference.

Wells is also just the fifth coach in conference history to be named the Mountain West Coach of the Year multiple times, joining Colorado State’s Sonny Lubick (1999, 2000), New Mexico and San Diego State’s Rocky Long (2002, 2012, 2015), Utah’s Urban Meyer (2003, 2004) and TCU’s Gary Patterson (2005, 2009).

2018 AAC Awards

AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: NATE HARVEY, EAST CAROLINA

Harvey enjoyed a breakout season as a senior at ECU in 2018.
Photo: ECU Athletics

Harvey enjoyed a breakout season as a senior at ECU in 2018 after spending last season primarily on special teams. Harvey, ECU’s starting right defensive end, finished third nationally in tackles for loss with 25.5. However, he finished first in tackles for loss per game with 2.1.

Harvey broke The American’s single-season record of 23.0 tackles for loss, set by Houston’s Ed Oliver last year, and he tied Louisville’s Marcus Smith (2013) for the conference’s single-season record of 14.5 sacks. In addition, Harvey has 59 tackles, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: McKENZIE MILTON, CENTRAL FLORIDA

Milton has undergone five surgeries since his injury in November.
Photo: Reinhold Matay/USATODAYSports

Milton became the first player to repeat as The American’s Offensive Player of the Year as he served as the catalyst behind an offense that lead the conference and ranked fifth nationally at 531.5 yards per game and averaging 43.1 points per game. Milton threw for 2,663 yards and 25 touchdowns with six interceptions and rushed for 307 yards and a team-high nine TDs in 2018. He ranked 10th nationally in pass efficiency (161.0), third in yards per completion (15.57) and sixth in points responsible for per game (20.4).

McKenzie Milton led the UCF Golden Knights to 23 straight wins before suffering a season-ending leg injury.

SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Isaiah Wright, Temple

Temple’s Isaiah Wright has run the wildcat formation for the Owls.
Photo: Clem Murray/Philly.com

Wright becomes the first Temple player to earn Special Teams Player of the Year honors from The American. Wright scored a nation-leading three special teams touchdowns in 2018 and enters the postseason as the conference leader in punt return average (13.9 yards per return). Wright is third in the conference in kickoff return average (25.9 ypr) and fifth in all-purpose yards (119.0 yards per game).

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati

Ridder’s high school coach Will Wolford played in the NFL.
Photo: The Athletic

Ridder took over as the Bearcats’ quarterback in the second quarter of the season-opening win at UCLA and has led Cincinnati to a 10-2 record. He threw for 2,445 yards and 20 touchdowns with five interceptions and has rushed for 583 yards and five TDs as a redshirt freshman. He ranked fourth in The American in pass efficiency (145.7) and fifth in total offense (245.4 yards per game).

COACH OF THE YEAR: Luke Fickell, Cincinnati

Fickell is one of the ascending coaches in college football.
Photo: Sam Greene/USATODAYSports

Fickell was chosen by his peers as The American’s Coach of the Year after he orchestrated a six-win improvement in his second year on the Cincinnati sideline. After going 4-8 in his first year, Fickell has led the Bearcats to a 10-2 overall record, a 4-0 in mark in nonconference games and a 6-2 conference mark in 2018. The Bearcats returned to the national polls for the first time since 2013, ranking as high as No. 19 in the Nov. 11 Associated Press poll. 

2018 ACC Awards

POWER 5

ATLANTIC COASTAL CONFERENCE

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: CLELIN FERRELL, CLEMSON

Ferrell looks to be a top 10 pick in this year’s NFL Draft.
Photo: ClemsonPaws

Ferrell was part of an exceptional Tigers’ defense in 2018 – one of four Clemson defensive linemen who will be drafted this April. Ferrell lead the Tigers in tackles for loss with 15.5 and sacks with 10.5. He racked up 40 tackles on the season with 11 quarterback pressures.

Ferrell was also the 2018 Ted Hendricks Award winner.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: TRAVIS ETIENNE CLEMSON

Etienne was also name ACC Player of the Year.
Photo: Clemson Athletics

Etienne garnered AP ACC Offensive Player of the Year by turning out the most prolific rushing season in school history, producing a school-record 1,658 yards yards on 204 carries with a school-record 24 rushing touchdowns and 12 catches for 78 yards and two receiving touchdowns in 486 snaps over 15 games. He was a Doak Walker Award finalist.

DEFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: ANDRE CISCO, SYRACUSE

Cisco received 40 of 46 votes to easily win the award.
Photo: Syracuse Athletics

Cisco was one of the bright spots in the Orange’s secondary this fall, starting 10 games at free safety and only coming off the field in early season 4-3 sets. His seven interceptions are tied for the national lead with Boston College’s Hamp Cheevers while his 16 passes defended are a program record among freshman defensive backs.

A Long Island native who transferred to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., for his last two years of high school, Cisco racked up 51 tackles and a fumble recovery.

OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: TREVOR LAWRENCE, CLEMSON

Lawrence was arguably the best quarterback in the nation.
Photo: Clemson Athletics

Clemson freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence was named Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year despite not starting until Clemson’s fifth game of the season. A five-time ACC Rookie of the Week this season, Lawrence has completed 66.2 percent of his passes (200 of 302) for 2,488 yards with only four interceptions and is coming off the third 300-yard passing game of the season – a 393-yard outing in a win against South Carolina. He was also named ACC Rookie of the Year.

“He was amazing,” Swinney said of Lawrence, who has helped the Tigers win the National Championship. “To see Trevor go out and play like he did tonight, in that arena, that stage, was awesome. He made plays with his legs.”

COACH OF THE YEAR: DABO SWINNEY, CLEMSON

Swinney has led the Tigers to two National Championships.
Photo: Clemson Athletics

Swinney guided the Tigers to their fourth consecutive ACC title Saturday, a first since the league went to divisional play in 2005. He has guided Clemson to three consecutive College Football Playoff berths, eight consecutive seasons with at least 10 victories and the 2016 and 2018 National Championships.

2018 Big 12 Awards

POWER 5

BIG 12 CONFERENCE

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: DAVID LONG, JR., WEST VIRGINIA

Long, Jr., is projected to be a second-third round draft pick.
Photo: WVFootball

West Virginia redshirt junior linebacker David Long made history Wednesday, becoming the first player in program history to be named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. He led the league with 18.5 tackles for loss and ranked fourth with 8.8 tackles per game.

Just to be clear, there are TWO players named David Long in the upcoming NFL draft. David Long, Jr. is a linebacker from West Virginia (seen here), and the other is a DB from Michigan.

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OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: KYLER MURRAY, OKLAHOMA

Murray (center) was named Big 12 OPOY & won the Heisman Trophy.
Photo: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Murray is one of the most talked about players in this draft. Not only did he win the Big 12 Offensive POY, he took home the Heisman Trophy, the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award, the Davey O’Brien Award, and was a finalist for the Maxwell Award.

Murray’s draft stock is all over the board, although, most giving him a mid-first round grade. There are questions about his height (listed at 5-11, but looks 5-8 or 5-9), and more questions about his weight (is he really 185 lbs.? and how many hits can he take?). But there are few questions about his 4.3 speed or his accuracy when given time to throw.

Murray is the fourth Oklahoma QB in recent memory to win the award, joining Jason White, Sam Bradford, and Baker Mayfield.

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DEFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE YEAR: CHARLES OMENIHU, TEXAS

Omenihu has the measurable NFL teams desire, including an 85″ wingspan.
Photo: Texas Athletics

Omenihu secured a Senior Bowl invite after registering 45 tackles, 18 for loss and 9.5 sacks en route to Big 12 defensive lineman of the year honors. Through 50 games and 32 starts in four years, Omenihu claimed 116 tackles, 30.5 for loss and 17 sacks. His numbers improved steadily each year. At the Senior Bowl, he measured in at just shy of 6’6” and 274 pounds with 36.5″ arms and an 85″ inch wingspan. More than likely, whatever team drafts Omenihu will ask him to line up inside and out.

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OFFENSIVE LINEMEN OF THE YEAR: (3-way tie) DALTON RISNER, KANSAS STATE; DRU SAMIA, OKLAHOMA; and YODNEY CAJUSTE, WEST VIRGINIA

All three players should be picked in the first two days of the draft.

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OFFENSIVE NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: JALEN HURD, BAYLOR

Jalen Hurd played RB at Tennessee before transferring to Baylor to play WR.
Photo: UT Athletics

Hurd is one of the more unique storylines in the NFL draft. A valuable three-year running back who leaves Tenneesse to become the Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year as a wide receiver. In 2018, Hurd led the Bears with 69 receptions for 946 yards. He also rushed 48 times for 209 yards and three touchdowns. 

Hurd’s college career includes 2,844 rushing yards and 1,438 receiving yards. He currently sits sixth in Tennessee history in rushing yards.

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DEFENSIVE NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: GREG EISWORTH, IOWA STATE

In 2017, Eisworth was playing at Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas.
Photo: Scout.com

Matt Campbell has pushed for Eisworth, at JUCO transfer, to join Iowa State’s 2018 recruiting class with that hope that he can contribute immediately and provide both experience and leadership. His commitment proved to be a valuable one for the Cyclones, who had just lost all three of their starting safeties, including all-Big 12 talent Kamari Cotton-Moya.

Eisworth stepped in and earned Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year and first-team all-Big 12 honors this season. He led Iowa State in tackles with 84, including 54 solos. He forced two fumbles, had three pass break-ups, one interception and a sack in the pass game. Eisworth was able to impact the run game, as well, recording four tackles for a loss.

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OFFENSIVE FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: POOKA WILLIAMS, JR,. KANSAS

One of the most explosive players in the league with 15 carries of 20+ yards, Williams rushed for a total of 1,125 yards on 161 carries, good for 102.3 yards per game, 7.0 yards per carry and seven rushing touchdowns. He added 289 yards and two scores on 33 receptions and 246 yards on 11 kick returns to lead the Big 12 and rank sixth in the FBS in all-purpose yards at 150.9 per game. 

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DEFENSIVE FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: CADEN STERNS, TEXAS

Sterns, a freshman safety from Cibolo, Texas, has started all 12 games to date, the most by a true freshman defensive back at Texas since Blake Gideon started all 13 in 2008. He has 59 tackles, tied for fourth on the team and has added three tackles for loss and a sack. He has four interceptions, tied with Diggs and Chris Carter (1993) for the most ever by a Longhorn true freshman.

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SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE YEAR: AUSTIN SEIBERT, OKLAHOMA

Photo: Reese Strickland/USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma’s Austin Seibert is the all-time NCAA scoring leader among kickers. He broke the record of 494 points set by former Arizona State kicker Zane Gonzalez. With his 26-yard field goal in the third quarter against Alabama, Seibert scored his 496th career point. He finished his career tied for third (with Montee Ball of Wiconsin) on the NCAA’s all-time scoring list with 498 points.

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Chuck Neinas COACH OF THE YEAR: (tie) MATT CAMPBELL, IOWA STATE & LINCOLN RILEY, OKLAHOMA

For the second straight season Iowa State coach Matt Campbell has been named the Big 12 Coach of the Year, the conference announced Wednesday.

This season, he split the award with Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley.

No. 23 Iowa State (7-4, 6-3 Big 12) was picked to finish seventh in the conference but ended the season in a tie for third with West Virginia. The six conference wins are the most ever by an Iowa State team.

Riley led the Sooners to an 11-1 record this season and an 8-1 Big 12 record. In his second season as head coach, Riley has a 23-2 career record.

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Latest updates have begun for Player Position Rankings: QB, RB, FB, WR

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