FWAA adds Shaun Alexander Freshman Player of the Year Award Reply

DALLAS — The Football Writers Association of America is very pleased to announce a new college football award this season named after Shaun Alexander, former University of Alabama and Seattle Seahawks star running back.

The Shaun Alexander Freshman Player of the Year Award will be presented to the top player on the FWAA’s Freshman All-America Team who possesses many of the same attributes that Alexander displayed during his illustrious college and professional careers.

“The FWAA is very excited about this new award because of the person it represents,” said FWAA Executive Director  Steve Richardson. “It is very significant because Alexander also was an outstanding redshirt freshman for the Crimson Tide. His freshman season paved the way for future successes at Alabama and later in the NFL.  Shaun did it all with class, character and enthusiasm.”

Among other things, the recipient will be presented with a gold coin emblematic of this prestigious award.  The traits associated with the award are displayed on one side of the coin: “Ambassador, Legend, Faith, Passion, Talent, Focus, Character, Leader”.  On the other side of the coin, the phrases “Carry the Coin”  and “Finish the Game” are inscribed.

Alexander, a three-time Pro Bowl running back with the Seattle Seahawks, played for the Alabama Crimson Tide from 1996-1999.  He set a school record during his redshirt freshman season with 291 rushing yards and four touchdowns in the Tide’s 29-0 victory over LSU at Tiger Stadium. He finished his college career with 3,565 yards rushing (41 touchdowns),  798 receiving yards (eight touchdown receptions) and one kickoff return for a touchdown while at Alabama.

Alexander then continued his outstanding success in the NFL, rushing for 9,453 yards and scoring 112 total touchdowns, fifteenth most in NFL history.  In 2005, he led the league in rushing and was named the NFL Most Valuable Player.

“It is an honor to have my name associated with the Freshman Player of the Year Award, issued by an organization as well-respected as the Football Writers Association of America,” Alexander said.  “I remember what it felt like when I started playing college football, hoping that I’d excel when my number was called to make my parents, family, and community proud.  Today’s college freshmen are no different.  I wish them all well and hope that the future winners of this Award, those who demonstrate talent, character, and the desire to be great, will carry these traits with them throughout their careers, both on and off the field.”

The recipient of the award will be revealed by Alexander at the FWAA’s Annual Awards Breakfast on Monday, Jan. 7 in San Jose, California in conjunction with the College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship Game in nearby Santa Clara.  The FWAA’s 18th annual Freshman All-America Team will also be announced at that time by FWAA Past President Mike Griffith, chairman of the team’s selection committee since its inception during the 2001 season.

“Shaun Alexander ranks as one of the most dynamic, compelling athletes I’ve covered over the course of my years in the profession,” said Griffith, now a writer for the Cox Media Group/ DawgNation. “The FWAA’s decision to add a Freshman Player of the Year Award in Shaun’s name is a fitting tribute for what he has represented on and off the field throughout his career, and the type of impact and character freshmen players should look to emulate.”

Griffith oversees a panel of  writers on the selection committee who are geographically balanced across the country. They represent all 10 FBS conferences and major independents.  True freshmen and redshirt freshmen are eligible for the team.  Shaun Alexander will be a member of the team’s selection committee.

About the Football Writers Association of America
Founded in 1941, the non-profit Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) consists of more than 1,300 members, including journalists, broadcasters, publicists and key executives in all areas of college football. Led by current President Stefanie Loh of the Seattle Times, longtime Executive Director Steve Richardson, and a board of veteran journalists, the association continues to grow and work to help college football prosper at all levels. Visit footballwriters.com for more information about the FWAA and its award programs.

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President’s column: The barrage of media days is over and teams are starting fall camp all over the country, so that means college football is officially back! Reply

By Stefanie Loh/2018 FWAA President

I hope you enjoyed the last few months , which the FWAA  spent working to clinch a couple of new partnerships to kick off the start of the 2018 football season.

2018 FWAA President Stefanie Loh of the Seattle Times

First off, you might have seen the recent news release in which we announced a partnership with the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases to present the 2018 Outland Trophy that’s awarded annually to the best interior lineman in college football. The award will officially be known as the 2018 Outland Trophy presented by the National Foundation of Infectious Diseases.

The agreement is part of an initiative to promote public awareness of influenza prevention this fall. …After all, the flu is relevant to both our membership and the people we cover. Traveling while sick sucks – and few sportswriters even use sick days when it’s game day, right?

But, this also marks the first time in 25 years that the Outland Trophy has had a presenting sponsor. And, we also picked up a worthy ambassador for the award in the process: The NFL’s iron man, newly retired former Browns left tackle, Joe Thomas, who played a mind-boggling 10,363 consecutive snaps in 11 seasons with Cleveland.

Thomas, a Wisconsin alum who won the 2006 Outland Trophy, will  announce the winner of the 73rd annual Outland Trophy on Thursday Dec. 6  on the ESPN College Football Awards Show from the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, He will present the Outland Trophy to the 2018 winner at the awards banquet in Omaha on Jan. 9, 2019, and he’ll make media appearances to promote the #FightFlu campaign

We’re pumped to have Thomas and the NFID participate in Outland Trophy Awards festivities.

There’s more to look forward too, though.

This fall, we will unveil the inaugural Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year Award to honor college football’s most deserving newcomer.

Alexander, a three-time Pro Bowl running back with the Seattle Seahawks, was a four-year starter at the University of Alabama. In his redshirt freshman season, he set a new school record with 291 rushing yards and four touchdowns in the Tide’s 29-0 win over LSU at Tiger Stadium. Since his retirement in 2008, he’s settled down in  suburban Washington D.C. with his family, and we’re proud to add his namesake award to our lineup for the year.

The award winner will be selected by the FWAA Freshman All-American committee, whose membership includes Alexander. So keep your eyes on promising freshmen this season, and feel free to shoot any suggestions their way

In the meantime, don’t forget that collegepressbox.com, as always, is a one-stop shop for all your research needs when you’re working on those season previews. Also, look out for Reddit chats that we’re doing. We’ve hosted five so far, and will likely push a few more out the pipeline. So stay tuned and stay busy!

Happy August. Let the preseason hype begin!