TCU’s Patterson wins 2014 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award

Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award

Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award

DALLAS  – Texas Christian University’s Gary Patterson has been named the winner of the 2014 FWAA/Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award in the first year of the Allstate Sugar Bowl’s presenting sponsorship. Patterson  is the eighth coach to claim the writers’ award at least twice. Two-time winners are Nick Saban (LSU, Alabama), Lou Holtz (Arkansas, Notre Dame), Darrell Royal (Texas), John McKay (USC) and Johnny Majors (Pittsburgh) as two-time winners of the 58-year-old National Coach of the Year Award. Woody Hayes (Ohio State) and Joe Paterno (Penn State) each won the award three times.

“I’d like to thank the Football Writers Association of America,” said Patterson, the winningest football coach in TCU history (131-45). “I’m very honored and humbled to be a part of such a great award and the man it represents.”

TCU Coach Gary Patterson

TCU Coach Gary Patterson

Patterson’s 2014 TCU team, after being picked to finish seventh by the media before the season, claimed a share of the Big 12 Conference football title in only its third season in the league. Rebounding from a 4-8 record in the 2013 season, the Horned Frogs (11-1 overall, 8-1 in the Big 12) finished sixth in the final College Football Playoff rankings. TCU will meet No. 9 Ole Miss in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on Dec. 31 in Atlanta.

The Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award will be highlighted during a reception at the Renaissance Hotel on Jan. 10, 2015, in Dallas, where Patterson will accept the Eddie Robinson bust at the College Football Playoff National Championship Game media hotel. He will place it alongside the bust he won five seasons ago.

Patterson, in his 14th season as the Horned Frogs’ head coach, also claimed the Eddie Robinson Award in 2009 when TCU won a Mountain West Conference championship, played in the Fiesta Bowl and finished with a 12-1 record and No. 6 ranking. Patterson was also a finalist for the award in 2003 and 2010. Previous to Patterson, the last Big 12 coach to win the award was Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy in 2011.

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Photos from the Outland Trophy presentation at the College Football Awards Show

Scenes from the Outland Trophy presentation and the College Football Awards Show at the Atlantic Dance Hall on the Boardwalk at Walt Disney World.

Iowa’s Scherff wins 2014 Outland Trophy

The Outland Trophy

The Outland Trophy

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Iowa offensive tackle Brandon Scherff accepted the 69th Outland Trophy as the nation’s best interior lineman during The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday night at the Disney Boardwalk.

Scherff, a 6-5, 320-pound senior, became the fourth Hawkeye to win the Outland Trophy after Calvin Jones (1955), Alex Karras (1957) and Robert Gallery (2003). Only players from Nebraska (eight different ones, nine total) and Oklahoma (five) have won more Outland Trophies than Iowa, with Ohio State players also claiming four.

Also in the audience at the Dance Hall were Auburn center Russ Dismukes and Texas defensive tackle Malcom Brown, the other two 2014 Outland finalists. Former Pittsburgh offensive lineman and ESPN college football analyst Mark May, the 1980 Outland Trophy winner, made the on-stage presentation to Scherff, the fourth offensive tackle in the last five years to win the award.

Going into Iowa’s Taxslayer Bowl game against Tennessee on Jan. 2, Scherff has started 25 straight games for the Hawkeyes. In all he has played in 43 games and started 35 of them. He has been a strong leader in all four seasons that he has played in Iowa City. Iowa, 7-5, ranks 68th in scoring offense (28.3 ppg) and 66th in total offense (398.3 ypg). At left tackle, he has been rock solid this season for the Hawkeyes who have traditionally produced good offensive linemen.

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President’s column: High school baseball star Randy White never expected to be a football ‘Legend’

2014 FWAA President Kirk Bohls

2014 FWAA President Kirk Bohls

(Note:  Randy White was honored at the same banquet where Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright III was revealed as college football’s best defensive player as deemed by the Football Writers Association of America.)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Randy White never expected to be honored as a legend in college football.

Of course, the highly decorated defensive star for Maryland and then the Dallas Cowboys never really expected to even play college football in the first place.

He’d been a star pitcher and first baseman for his high school team in Wilmington, Delaware, and had been told at one time that the Philadelphia Phillies wanted to draft him and sign him for a $30,000 bonus.

“I thought, ‘I’m rich,’” White recalled Monday before the Charlotte Touchdown Club Banquet where he was recognized as a Bronko Nagurski Legend from the FWAA’s 1974 All-America Team. “But my dad told the scout no. He said I was going to Maryland and play college football.”

Father knew best.

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Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright III wins Bronko Nagurski Trophy

Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright, winner of the 2014 Bronko Nagurski Trophy. (Photo by Ron & Donna Deshaies/Treasured Events of Charlotte)

Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright, III winner of the 2014 Bronko Nagurski Trophy.

CHARLOTTE – Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright III claimed the Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Monday night, winning the Football Writers Association of America’s annual award for the top defensive player in the country.

Wright, a 6-1, 246-pound sophomore, accepted the award at the event that has been sponsored by the Charlotte Touchdown Club for 20 consecutive years. He becomes the second Arizona player to win the award after the inaugural winner Rob Waldrop in 1993 and the first Pac-12 player to claim it since Terrell Suggs of Arizona State in 2002. Wright is just the second sophomore to win the award, joining Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis, the 2006 winner.

Wright has gone from a player recruited by only a few schools – a two-star recruit on the West Coast – to a tackling machine at Arizona (10-3), ranked 10th in the final College Football Playoff rankings.

“I say thank you all to my teammates and coaches,” Wright said. “Football is a team game. I accept this on behalf of the Arizona football program.”

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First Osborne Legacy Award will go to former Nebraska O-line coach Milt Tenopir

Milt Tenopir, the offensive line coach at Nebraska for Tom Osborn and Frank Solich for 29 years, will receive the first Tom Osborne Legacy Award at the Outland Trophy Dinner on Jan. 15 at the downtown Doubletree in Omaha.

Tenopir coached six Outland winners and 21 All-Americans, and his offensive lines helped win 13 NCAA rushing titles.

Click here to read the entire story by former FWAA president Tom Shatel.

 

Clemson’s Daniel Rodriguez named recipient of 2014 Armed Forces Merit Award

Armed Forces Merit Award

Armed Forces Merit Award

FORT WORTH, Texas — Daniel Rodriguez, a senior wide receiver and special teams player at Clemson University, is the third recipient of Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America.

Coordinated by the staff at the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, the Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the FWAA was created in June 2012 “to honor an individual and/or a group with a military background and/or involvement that has an impact within the realm of college football.”

Selected by a seven-person committee made up of representatives from the FWAA and the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, Rodriguez joins Nate Boyer of the University of Texas and Brandon McCoy of the University of North Texas as recipients of the Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the FWAA.

Boyer, who is completing his third-season as the long snapper for the Longhorns, was honored in 2012 while McCoy was the 2013 recipient during his fourth and final season as a defensive lineman for the Mean Green.

Daniel Rodriguez, Clemson University

Daniel Rodriguez, Clemson University

Rodriguez, 26, was an Armed Forces Merit Award semi-finalist both years while playing at Clemson, where he was the 2012 recipient of the Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage and USAA Athletic Inspiration Awards and an ESPY finalist for the Jim Valvano Perseverance Award.

Attending college on the GI Bill, Rodriguez was offered a spot on the 2012 Clemson team as a walk-on after coach Dabo Swinney saw a video about the former U.S. Army Sergeant and recipient of the Purple Heart and Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device for his heroism at Kamdesh.

“On this very special day, Veterans’ Day 2014, we are pleased to join with the Football Writers Association of America to honor Daniel Rodriguez from Clemson University as the third recipient of the Armed Forces Merit Award,” said Brant Ringler, executive director of the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl. “We had list of outstanding nominations for this year’s award and it is difficult to honor only one each year when we have men and programs that are very deserving of the honor.”

FWAA President Kirk Bohls, a columnist for the Austin American-Statesman, echoed Ringler’s sentiments along with adding that the FWAA is “pleased to team with Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl to recognize Rodriguez’ achievement as a veteran who used his armed forces experiences to benefit his teammates and coaches at Clemson University. The FWAA also salutes the other 2014 nominations for their contributions on-and-off the field of play.”

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Outland Trophy seminfinalists will be announced from Omaha on Nov. 20

The Outland Trophy

The Outland Trophy

OMAHA, Neb. — For the second straight year, the official announcement of the 2014 Outland Trophy semifinalists will be made at a reception on Nov. 20 at DJ’s Dugout, 10th & Capitol Avenue. The Football Writers Association of America will conduct the voting and selection process to determine these players.

The Outland Trophy semifinalists announcement of six or seven players will lead into ESPNU’s announcement of the three finalists on Nov. 25. The winner will be revealed during ESPN College Football Awards on Dec. 11. The Outland Trophy Dinner will be held in Omaha on Jan. 15, 2015, at the DoubleTree Hotel Downtown.

The Greater Omaha Sports Committee is excited to have this opportunity to recognize these outstanding players who will seek to become the 69th winner of this prestigious trophy, the third oldest player award in major-college football. The Outland Trophy Award Dinner, hosted in Omaha for the last 17 years, will be the site of the presentation again.

These unsung heroes work hard every day and don’t always receive the deserved attention and recognition for their hard work, sweat and blood, poured into battle every Saturday, for a game that is won or lost in the trenches. The one that rises to be the Best, the unsung hero, the Outland Winner!

The Outland Trophy Award Dinner’s emcee, Greg Sharpe, Voice of the Huskers, will also be the Master of Ceremonies at the semifinalist reception. The audience will include a number of familiar faces in the Omaha Sports Community, including former FWAA President Tom Shatel of the Omaha World-Herald and incoming 2015 FWAA President Lee Barfknecht of the same paper, members of the Outland Trophy Award Dinner Committee, Rotary Club of Omaha -Downtown and the Greater Omaha Sports Committee. Area football coaches, former Nebraska players and Outland winners will be invited to attend. Details of all of the evenings’ activities are being planned.

Guests will have the ability to bid on Unique Autographed Husker, Sports Packages & Outland items during a silent auction. The price of a $15 admission will include two drink tickets, hors d’oeuvres and the opportunity to claim door prizes. Our office, along with each DJ’s Dugout location in the Omaha Metro area, will have reception tickets for sale. Ask about a group discount. Simply contact Mike Mancuso at the Greater Omaha Sports Committee (402) 346-8003.

For the 18th consecutive year, Omaha will present the Outland Trophy Award to college football’s top interior lineman. Tickets are $75.00 and tables of ten sell for $750.00. Also appearing at the dinner for the 17th straight year will be the winners of Nebraska’s football senior awards – the Novak  Trophy, the Chamberlin Trophy and the Cletus Fischer Native Son Award. Cornhusker Coach Bo Pelini and Nebraska  assistant football coaches will be invited to attend.

Outland winners from 1946 -1987 received only plaques. So Downtown Rotary-Omaha, in conjunction with the Greater Omaha Sports Committee, the Omaha World-Herald and Cox Communications, for a number of years has presented a former winner with his trophy at the dinner. This January, Ross Browner, the 1976 Outland winner from Notre Dame, will receive his trophy in Omaha.

Click here for the Greater Omaha Sports Committee’s reception flier.

Ex-Marine Everding selected 2014 Armed Forces Merit Award finalist

Armed Forces Merit Award

Armed Forces Merit Award

Fort Worth, Texas, November 5 – Ex-Marine Jason Everding of the University of the Incarnate Word has been announced as the second of two finalists for the 2014 Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA).

Coordinated by the staff at the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, the Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the FWAA was created in June 2012 “to honor an individual and/or a group with a military background and/or involvement that has an impact within the realm of college football.”

The award’s selection committee is made up of five FWAA members, including president Kirk Bohls of the Austin American Statesman, and two representatives from the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl.  The group reviewed 15 “candidates” for the 2014 honor where the 28-year old Everding joins 27-year old Army veteran Daniel Rodriguez of Clemson as finalists for the award.

Rodriguez, a wide receiver and special team performers for the past three seasons at Clemson, was announced last week as the first of two finalists for the 2014 Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the FWAA.  This year’s recipient being announced this Veteran’s Day, November 11.  Nate Boyer of the University of Texas was named the initial recipient of the award in 2012 with Brandon McCoy of the University of North Texas topping the AFMA list last year.

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FWAA accepting weekly nominations for Courage Award

The FWAA is now accepting nominations for the 2014  FWAA/Orange Bowl Courage Award, which is annually given to a player, coach or support person in college football such as a trainer, cheerleader or a member of an athletic department’s staff.

The requirements for nomination for the weekly award include displaying some sort of courageous act (on or off the field). These would include overcoming an injury, sickness or physical handicap, preventing a disaster, or living through a lifetime of hardships.

At the end of 2014 season, a select group of FWAA members will choose the winner of the award who will be honored during the Orange Bowl Week.

Please email all nominations with supporting information to FWAA Executive Director Steve Richardson at tigerfwaa@gmail.com