Schedule for upcoming FBS Conference media days Reply

Here are the dates and sites for the 2017 Football Media Days in July for the 10 FBS Conferences.

American: July 17-18,  Gurney’s Newport Resort & Marina, Newport, Rhode Island

ACC: July 13-14, Westin, Charlotte

Big Ten: July 24-25, Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, Chicago

Big 12: July 17-18, The Star, Frisco, Texas

Conference USA: July 19-20, DFW Marriott North, Irving, TX

Mid-American: July 25-26, Pro Football Hall of Fame, Canton, Ohio

Mountain West: July 25-26, The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas

Pac-12: July 26-27,  Hollywood and Highland Entertainment Center, Los Angeles

SEC: July 10-13, Hyatt-Wynfrey Hotel, Hoover, AL

Sun Belt: July 23-24, Superdome, New Orleans

FWAA member begins previews of all 130 FBS teams Reply

FWAA member Matt Murschel of the Orlando Sentinel is previewing all 130 NCAA FBS Teams, ranking them from No.130 all the way to the No.1 team. His first installment  began on Monday with No. 130 Alabama-Birmingham, which is re-instituting football this coming season. His team reports will appear daily in the Orlando Sentinel on-line.

CLICK HERE to begin reading Matt’s series.

 

Rice honors former Owl Matt Sign of NFF

Matt Sign, FWAA Board member from the National Football Foundation where he is the chief operating officer, was honored this past week at the Rice Spring Game. He is a former standout Rice football player.

For Immediate Release

Chuck Pool

cpool@rice.edu

713-348-5775

Cobb and Sign Selected as 2017 Honor Jerseys

Two mainstays of the current Rice football team will take to the field for the annual Blue-Gray spring game in new numbers as they honor a pair of standout teammates from the past as part of the Rice Owls Honor Jersey program.

Running back Samuel Stewart will switch to 45 this year to honor 1991 Doak Walker Award winner Trevor Cobb, while defensive tackle Preston Gordon wear 99 to honor Cobb’s teammate and two-time All –SWC noseguard Matt Sign.   

Cobb became the first Owl to win one of college football’s major individual awards when he received the 1991 Doak Walker Award as the nation’s top running back.  Cobb was a consensus All-American in 1991 and went on to be named the 1992 Southwest Conference Offensive Player of the Year.  He completed his  career ranked second on the SWC rushing list with 4,948 yards, which ranked eighth on the NCAA career list at that time and now ranks 22nd in NCAA history.

He became the first Owl to rush for over 1,000 yards in three seasons and holds the top three season totals in school history, capped by his 1,692 yards in 1991 during his run to the Doak Walker Award.  In addition to his yardage total, Cobb holds Rice season and career marks for rushing attempts (306/1,091), and all-purpose yards (6,512) in addition to the career mark for rushing touchdowns (38).

Despite his 5-10, 220 pound frame, Sign was a dominant defensive force during his career at Rice.  He led Rice linemen in tackles in each of his four seasons and he ranks fifth on the Rice career chart with 36 tackles for loss and sixth with 14 sacks. He won the Lipscomb Award in 1989 as the Outstanding Freshman and shared the first “Bloody Joe” Davis Award in 1991.

After starting his professional career with Florida Citrus Sports (FCS) which produced the Champs Sports Bowl and the Gridiron Classic College All-Star Game, Sign was named the Chief Operating Officer of the National Football Foundation in 2005.

The Honor Jersey program began in 2012, when Rice head coach David Bailiff first honored past notable Rice football players by having current member of the team who play the same position change numbers.  King Hill and O.J. Brigance were honored the first year.  In 2013, the Owls honored the first three African-American players at Rice (Rodrigo Barnes, Stahle Vincent and Mike Tyler) along with Bucky Allshouse, who was their recruiting host.   In 2014, Larry Izzo, N.D. Kalu and Richard Chapman were honored while in 2015; Jeff Rose and Dr. Leland Winston saw players change to their numbers. Last year, Ray Alborn, Donald Bowers and David Houser were honored.

Kickoff for the annual game to wrap up spring football drills is set for 8:00 p.m. Friday at Rice Stadium.

Ross Browner to receive Bronko Nagurski Legends Award

Bronko Nagurski Legends Award

Bronko Nagurski Legends Award

Charlotte, N.C. February 15, 2017 — The Charlotte Touchdown Club in conjunction with the Football Writers Association of America and Florida East Coast Railway proudly announces University of Notre Dame great Ross Browner as the recipient of the 2017 Bronko Nagurski Legends Award, which recognizes outstanding defensive football players from the past 40 years.

The award will be presented formally during the annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Awards Banquet presented by ACN on December 4, 2017.

Ross Browner

Ross Browner

“Being name recipient of the 2017 Bronko Nagurski Legends Award is a tremendous honor,” Browner said. “I’m so grateful for all the coaches and teammates who encouraged me along the way. It’s such a thrill to accept an award with past winners such as Bubba Smith, Randy Gradishar, Randy White and others.”

“Congratulations to Ross Browner on being named the 2017 Bronko Nagurski Legends Award recipient,” said James R. Hertwig, CEO of Florida East Coast Railway. “Ross’s performance on the field and his dedication to community service make this a well-deserved honor. Florida East Coast Railway takes great pride in our support of the Charlotte Touchdown Club and its mission to promote citizenship, scholarship, sportsmanship and leadership.”

More…

Dave Campbell laments Nick Joos’ move from Baylor to Missouri

Iconic Dave Campbell was the FWAA’s President in 1968 and claimed the Bert McGrane Award in 1988. Nick Joos is a long-time FWAA member who has distinguished himself as a member of the CoSIDA Hall of Fame and is a Past President of that organization
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By Dave Campbell

Something happened recently that I had hoped would never occur. Nick Joos resigned at Baylor to become the University of Missouri’s Senior Associate Athletic Director for Strategic Communications. At 92 years of age I know I’m too old to cry, but that is what I felt like doing.

 

FWAA announces 2016 Freshman All-America Team

DALLAS (FWAA) — The 16th annual Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-America Team, presented by Sound Mind Sound Body camps, was announced Monday and includes one player who will appear in the College Football Playoff National Championship later Monday — Clemson defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence.

“Dexter is obviously very gifted from the standpoint of the physicality it takes to play inside,” said Tigers’ defensive line coach Dan Brooks, the AFCA assistant coach of the year.

“We opened the season at Auburn and threw him in the mix, and he had our first sack of the season. Dexter is a very coachable young man with a great attitude who is mature beyond his years.”

soundmindsoundbodyThe 10 FBS conferences are each represented with at least one player on the team, and there are two players from schools with independent status.

The SEC and Big Ten each placed six players on the 34-member team, while the Pac-12 and ACC had five players from their respective conferences.

Other 2017 College Football Playoff participants on the Freshman All-American team are Taylor Rapp (safety, Washington), Mike Weber (tailback, Ohio State), Dre’Mont Jones (defensive lineman, Ohio State) and Michael Jordan (offensive lineman, Ohio State).

The First Year Coach of the Year Award had co-winners for the first time since its inception 15 years ago, with Virginia Tech Justin Fuente and USC’s Clay Helton sharing the award.

Helton, in his first full season as the Trojans’ head coach, led USC to nine consecutive victories to close the season, including a stirring 52-49 Rose Bowl victory over Penn State.

Fuente was selected as the ACC Coach of the Year, guiding the Hokies to the ACC Championship Game for the first time since 2011.

A 12-person panel of nationally prominent writers represented each of the FBS conferences along with independents in the selecting the team.

Both true freshmen (20 players) and redshirt freshmen (14 players) were considered for the team and are so noted on the list below.

There are six former Freshmen All-Americans involved in tonight’s game.

From Alabama

  • Outland Trophy winner Cam Robinson (2014)
  • All-SEC punter JK Scott (2014)
  • Receiver Calvin Ridley (2015)
  • Cornerback Marlon Humphrey (2015)

From Clemson

  • All-ACC offensive lineman Mitch Hyatt (2015)
  • Defensive lineman Christian Wilkins (2015)

2016 FWAA Freshman All-America Team

OFFENSE

Pos. Name School Ht. / Wt. Hometown
QB Sam Darnold** USC 6-4 / 225 Capistrano Beach, Calif.
RB Mike Weber** Ohio State 5-10 / 212 Detroit, Mich.
RB Benny Snell* Kentucky 5-11 / 220 Westerville, Ohio
RB Justice Hill* Oklahoma State 5-10 / 171 Tulsa, Okla.
WR Ahmmon Richards* Miami (Fla.) 6-1 / 192 Wellington, Fla.
WR Demetris Robertson* California 6-0 / 175 Savannah, Ga.
WR Ty Lee* Middle Tennessee 5-9 / 155 Moultrie, Ga.
TE Isaac Nauta* Georgia 6-4 / 246 Buford, Ga.
OL Michael Jordan* Ohio State 6-7 / 310 Canton, Mich.
OL Jawaan Taylor* Florida 6-5 / 340 Cocoa, Fla.
OL Ryan Bates** Penn State 6-4 / 305 Warrington, Pa.
OL Thomas Shoaf ** BYU 6-5 / 280 Columbus, Ind.
OL Ben Bredeson* Michigan 6-5 / 310 Hartland, Wis.
OL Zach Shackelford* Texas 6-3 / 290 Belton, Texas
AP Donnie Corley* Michigan State 6-2 / 186 Detroit, Mich.

DEFENSE

Pos. Name School Ht. / Wt. Hometown
DL Ed Oliver* Houston 6-2 / 290 Houston, Texas
DL Dexter Lawrence* Clemson 6-5 / 340 Wake Forest, N.C.
DL Brian Burns* Florida State 6-5 / 218 Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
DL Dre’Mont Jones** Ohio State 6-3 / 280 Cleveland, Ohio
DL Reggie Walker** Kansas State 6-2 / 239 Ponchatoula, La.
LB Logan Wilson** Wyoming 6-2 / 225 Casper, Wyo.
LB Troy Dye* Oregon 6-4 / 225 Norco, Calif.
LB Leo Lewis** Mississippi State 6-2 / 240 Brookhaven, Miss.
LB Josiah Tauaefa** UTSA 6-1 / 230 Corinth, Texas
LB David Reese* Florida 6-0 / 244 Farmington, Mich.
DB Xavier Crawford** Oregon State 6-1 / 182 Pittsburg, Calif.
DB Javon Hagan** Ohio 6-0 / 211 Jacksonville, Fla.
DB Taylor Rapp* Washington 6-0 / 202 Bellingham, Wash.
DB Jessie Bates** Wake Forest 6-2 / 200 Fort Wayne, Ind.
DB Clifton Duck* Appalachian State 5-10 / 175 Matthews, N.C.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Pos. Name School Ht. / Wt. Hometown
K Rodrigo Blannkenship** Georgia 6-1 / 191 Marietta, Ga.
P Tom Sheldon* North Carolina 6-3 / 200 Echuca, Victoria, Australia
KR Tony Pollard** Memphis 5-11 / 200 Memphis, Tenn.
PR Malik McGue* Army 5-8 / 174 Johnson City, Tenn.

* True Freshman

** Redshirt Freshman

Co-First Year Coaches of the Year

Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech

Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech

Clay Helton, USC

Clay Helton, USC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coach of the Year semifinalist: Kalani Sitake, BYU.

FWAA All-America selection committee:

Lee Barfknecht (Big Ten)
Mark Anderson (MWC) 
Mark Blaudschun (ACC)
Andrew Greif (Pac-12)
Tommy Hicks (Sun Belt)
Blair Kerkhoff (Big 12)
Doug Smock (American Athletic)
Ron Higgins (SEC)
Phil Stukenborg (C-USA)
John Wagner (MAC)
Mike Griffith (Chair/Independents) 
Steve Richardson (FWAA Executive Director)

 

Cotton Bowl’s Charlie Fiss receives FWAA’s Bert McGrane Award 1

charlie-fiss-110916

Charlie Fiss, winner of the FWAA’s 2017 Bert McGrane Award. (Photo by Melissa Macatee)

TAMPA —The Cotton Bowl Athletic Association’s Charlie Fiss is in the unique position to accept a second Bert McGrane Award today at the FWAA’s Annual Awards Breakfast.

Only this Bert McGrane Award he gets to keep.

About 17 years ago, Fiss accepted the Bert McGrane Award on behalf of the late Field Scovell and then turned the plaque over to the family after he returned to Dallas from the presentation at the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind.

Fiss, in his 33rd year working for the Cotton Bowl, becomes the fourth person from the CBAA to receive the Bert McGrane Award, which is presented annually to a member of the FWAA for distinguished service to the organization and college football. Wilbur Evans (1978), Jim Brock (1989) and Scovell (1999) are the other CBAA recipients.

“Charlie Fiss perhaps more than anyone has been part of the fabric of the FWAA for the last 30 years,” said FWAA Executive Director Steve Richardson, who made the introduction of Fiss in Tampa. “He nearly predates modern computers when it comes to putting together the FWAA Print Directory and mailing list.”

The Award was established in 1974 as a memorial to McGrane, long-time Des Moines Register-Tribune sports writer who was one of the founding members of the FWAA. He was the FWAA’s Executive Director from the early 1940’s until 1973.

“The FWAA and the Cotton Bowl share a special relationship,” Rick Baker, CBAA President/CEO, said. “Charlie has been a leader with his steadfast approach to our partnership with the FWAA. Through his extraordinary efforts over three decades, he’s made a lasting impact on the Cotton Bowl, the FWAA and college football. No one is more deserving. I’m proud that Charlie joins an illustrious group of Cotton Bowl representatives to win the Bert McGrane Award.”

Richardson added: “He is meticulous. Period. End of story. He stews over the mailing list and all parts of the directory he is responsible for and some that he is not. He has been a champion of the FWAA in terms of what is provided during his bowl week — access to players and coaches and maintaining strict standards of decorum in the press box itself.

“Charlie runs a model press operation at the Cotton Bowl. For years the Cotton Bowl has been an example of how it should be done. He puts together a bowl operations staff that is second to none. I think most people in the profession, whether it be writers, sports information directions or other bowl executives, know that, but it also needs to be said.”

His first Cotton Bowl was in 1984, during which time he was serving as the Assistant Director of Media Relations for the Southwest Conference from 1984-1993. In 1994, Charlie was hired by the CBAA to serve as the Vice President of Communications and became a fulltime member of the staff.

Through his 30-plus years with the Cotton Bowl, he has worked with six Heisman Trophy winners, including Boston College’s Doug Flutie in his very first Cotton Bowl game.

Charlie is a graduate of the University of Arkansas, where he served as the Men’s Media Assistant from 1976-1980, and then as the Women’s Athletic Director of Media Relations from 1980-1984. As an avid racehorse fan, Charlie still volunteers for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, where he has done so for more than 25 years.

In between trips to Great Britain to feed his Beatles’ craze, annual pilgrimages to Disneyland to pay homage to Walt and strumming the guitar, Charlie still runs the Cotton Bowl Media operations by commuting from Phoenix, where he resides.

“Whoever would have dreamed I would have even seen one Heisman Trophy winner much less work around six,” Fiss said.  “I got to know Darrell Royal and Frank Broyles, all these people you read about in the sports pages, you know when you are growing up. … It really has been an interesting life. I have been blessed and pretty lucky to be involved in this business.

“We like to say in the Cotton Bowl we are in the business of making memories,” Fiss added. “If it wasn’t for the student athlete none of us would have jobs. I try to think of that every day. And I think when they are coming to the Cotton Bowl, they are just not thinking about playing in the Cotton Bowl, they are going to make memories which they are going to have forever.”

Ohio youth named Meece Scholarship winner

Dolen Helwagen of Pataskala, Ohio, was named the 20th winner of the Volney Meece Scholarship on Monday.

The scholarship is awarded annually by the Football Writers Association of America and named for the late Volney Meece. Meece served 22 years as the FWAA’s executive director and was the organization’s president in 1971.

The scholarship is a $1,000 annual grant for four years. It is awarded to a deserving son or daughter of an FWAA member.

The 17-year-old Helwagen is the daughter of long-time FWAA member Steve Helwagen.

Dolen has compiled an impressive list of academic and extracurricular achievements in her four years at Watkins Memorial High School. She maintained a 4.182 weighted GPA while taking a strenuous load of advanced placement and honors classes. She also scored 30-plus on the ACT.

A member of the National Honor Society and on the student council four years, Dolen was a two-time co-captain of the varsity tennis team. She’s in the Watkins Memorial concert choir, was a Buckeye Girls State delegate and a Rotary International ambassador.

Kathleen Berry, a member of the Watkins Memorial faculty, wrote in her letter of recommendation: “Dolen’s impressive GPA and ACT score speaks volumes about her inherent intelligence and work ethic. Her contagious enthusiasm and commitment to excellence both in the classroom and on the tennis court make her one of the most emulated leaders in our school.”

Previous winners of the Volney Meece Scholarship:

1997  Brett Goering  Topeka, Kan.
1998  Kelly Brooks  Denver, Colo.
1999  James Butz  Schaumberg, Ill.
2000  Sara Barnhart  Atlanta, Ga.
2001  Patrick Davis  Coventry, Conn.
2002  Jacqueline O’Toole  Gaithersburg, Md.
2003  Garrett Holtz  Denver, Colo.
2004  Katie Hersom  Oklahoma City, Okla.
2005  Katie Wieberg  Lawson, Mo.
2006  Kaylynn Monroe  Winter Park, Fla.
2007  Nate Kerkhoff  Overland Park, Kan.
2008  Jack Caywood  Lawrence, Kan.
2009  Haley Dodd  Overland Park, Kan.
2010  Donald Hunt  Philadelphia, Pa.
2011  Alaina Martens  Papillion, Neb.
2012  Emily Alford  Tupelo, Miss.
2013  Sarah Helsley  Edmond, Okla.
2014 Robert Abramson Palos Verde, Calif.
2015 Danielle Hoover Tulsa, Okla.