NCAAF: Southern California’s Caleb Williams wins big on awards night
Caleb Williams is viewed as the overwhelming favorite to win the Heisman Trophy and that belief was only bolstered Thursday night when the Southern California quarterback won both the Maxwell and Walter Camp awards as the top player in college football at the College Football Awards show.
Williams set a USC single-season record by scoring 47 touchdowns this season, and he leads the nation with 37 scoring passes. He guided the Trojans to an 11-2 record in his first season at the school after transferring from Oklahoma following USC’s hiring of former Sooners coach Lincoln Riley.
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Williams, who has set a school record with 4,447 total yards, said winning the award was important to him.
“It for sure means a lot to me because you work so hard as an athlete,” Williams said on ESPN. “I work so hard to be the best player and that’s what you try to achieve every day when you get up and you go work out, in the film room and on the field.”
Williams has thrown for 4,075 yards and been intercepted just four times.
Two other quarterbacks, Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, were the other Maxwell finalists.
Texas star Bijan Robinson was named winner of the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s top running back.
Robinson, who has rushed for 1,580 yards and 18 touchdowns this season, beat out Illinois’ Chase Brown and Michigan’s Blake Corum for the honor.
“I appreciate the guys that I compete with on Saturdays,” Robinson said on ESPN. “Blake and Chase are great running backs that play for their teams and they’re huge parts of their teams. I appreciate those guys and how they go about their business.”
Robinson hasn’t announced whether or not he will declare for the NFL draft, though he is projected to be the first running back selected if he enters the draft.
Robinson ranks fourth in Texas history with 3,410 rushing yards, trailing Ricky Williams (6,279), Cedric Benson (5,540) and legendary Earl Campbell (4,443). He ranks sixth with 33 career rushing touchdowns.
Texas now has five Doak Walker winners. Williams won in 1997 and 1998, Benson prevailed in 2004 and D’Onta Foreman won in 2016.
TCU’s Sonny Dykes was named Coach of the Year after leading the Horned Frogs to a 12-1 record and a No. 3 seed in the College Football Playoff. Dykes, who is in his first season at the school, will lead TCU into a semifinal clash against No. 2 Michigan on Dec. 31.
Among other awards, TCU quarterback Max Duggan won the Davey O’Brien Award (best quarterback), Alabama linebacker Will Anderson Jr. won the Bednarik Award (best defensive player) and Michigan center Olusegun Oluwatimi won the Outland Trophy (best interior lineman). Fans are excited.
Duggan led the Horned Frogs into the College Football Playoff field while throwing for 3,321 yards, 30 touchdowns and four interceptions. He beat out Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud and Southern California’s Caleb Williams for the award.
Anderson had 10 sacks while continuing to be a big-time force for the Crimson Tide. He beat out USC’s Tuli Tuipulotu and Cincinnati’s Ivan Pace Jr. for the honor.
Oluwatimi is the leader of a powerful offensive line that has helped the Wolverines reach the CFP. He won over Northwestern offensive tackle Peter Skoronski and Pittsburgh defensive tackle Calijah Kancey.
“It’s been a special year — we just won the (Big Ten) conference championship and we still have a couple of games left to play this season,” Oluwatimi said on ESPN. “I’m so excited that I came to Michigan and I get to play with these great players and compete with them on a daily basis.”
Oluwatimi also won the Rimington Trophy as the nation’s top center. He won that award over USC’s Brett Neilon and Minnesota’s John Michael Schmitz.
Tennessee’s Jalin Hyatt won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top receiver. Hyatt, who had 67 receptions for 1,267 yards and 15 touchdowns, beat out Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr. and Iowa State’s Xavier Hutchinson.
Georgia’s Brock Bowers won the Mackey Award as the nation’s top tight end. Bowers, who had 52 receptions for 726 yards and six touchdowns, won the award over Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer and Iowa’s Sam LaPorta.
TCU’s Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson took the Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back. Hodges-Tomlinson has three interceptions while beating out Utah’s Clark Phillips III and Illinois’ Devon Witherspoon.
North Carolina State’s Christopher Dunn was the Groza Award as the top kicker. Dunn, who made 24 of 25 field-goal attempts, beat out Michigan’s Jake Moody and Stanford’s Joshua Karty.
Rutgers’ Adam Korsak was the Ray Guy Award as the top punter. Korsak, who averaged 43.96 yards, was chosen ahead of Cincinnati’s Mason Fletcher and Michigan State’s Bryce Baringer.
Florida State offensive lineman Dillan Gibbons won the Wuerffel Trophy, which considers community service with athletic and academic achievement. Gibbons beat out Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan and Stanford safety Patrick Fields.
Iowa’s Jack Campbell (118 tackles) was named winner of the Butkus Award earlier Thursday. The other finalists were Georgia’s Jamon Dumas-Johnson, Washington State’s Daiyan Henley, Arkansas’ Drew Sanders and the aforementioned Pace of Cincinnati.
–Field Level Media
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