One of my favorite ways to officially end a college football season is with the Home Depot College Football Awards.
The SEC was once again represented well.
The big winner of the night was AJ McCarron. He took home the Maxwell Award for college football’s most outstanding player. McCarron seemed surprised when his name was announced, as he was nominated against FSU’s Jameis Winston and Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, via ESPN.
“Super surprised,” he said. “I don’t think I’m the best player out of the other two guys that were mentioned (Manziel, Winston), but I can’t thank them enough. It’s an honor to be here.
“It’s awesome, but I can’t thank my teammates enough,” McCarron said of winning the award. “All my teammates back home, I love you guys. You all made this possible.”
Gus Malzahn took home the Home Depot Coach of the Year award for his fantastic one-year turnaround at Auburn. From 3-9 and 0-8 in the SEC to 12-1 and SEC Champions, Malzahn is the coach of the year.
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Auburn’s ‘kick-six’ win over Alabama also won the play of the year. Chris Davis’ 109-yard missed field goal return will only heighten the rivalry, and it put college football on a national level, so much that presidents are even sending handwritten notes.
“Our players really believe right now and I think any time you have experience and you’re successful and you find ways to win at the end of the game, you really believe you’re going to win at the end of the game and that’s kinda what’s happened this year,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said.
Here’s a rundown of the other winners on the night:
- Doak Walker, Most Outstanding Running Back: Andre Williams, Boston College
- Biletnikoff Award, Most Outstanding Wide Receiver: Brandin Cooks, Oregon State
- Bednarik Award, Defensive Player of the Year: Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh
- Outland Trophy, Most Outstanding Interior Lineman: Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh
- Jim Thorpe Award, Nation’s Best Defensive Back: Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State
- Lou Groza Award, Nation’s top place-kicker, Roberto Aguayo, FSU
- Ray Guy Award, Punter of the Year: Tom Hornsey, Memphis
Photo Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports