Scenes from the Outland Trophy presentation and the College Football Awards Show at the Atlantic Dance Hall on the Boardwalk at Walt Disney World.
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.
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.”
Don Bryant, known affectionately as “the Fat Fox,” died Friday at age 85.
Bryant, the 1998 winner of the FWAA’s Bert McGrane Award, was sports editor of The Lincoln Star from 1954 until Nebraska athletic director and football coach Bob Devaney hired Bryant as sports information director in 1962. Later Bryant served as associated athletic director from 1976 until he retired in 1997.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Some think last Tuesday was national Election Day, and it was.
But the ballot box has reopened.
So here’s your chance to vote for players you think are deserving as the best and the finest college football players in the land, the most worthy of them all.
Here’s your chance to vote for the 2014 Football Writers Association of America 26-man All-America Team. Don’t forget your duty and help us decide the best of the best.
Ballots to nominate deserving defensive (11) and offensive line (5) candidates will be sent to FWAA members on Monday Nov. 10. On Monday Nov. 17, another set of ballots go out and we want you to help determine the best offensive skill personnel (6) and specialists (4).
The 12-member FWAA All-America Selection Committee will take those candidates, discuss them, debate them in two separate Sunday sessions, and make the final choices for the All-America team for the 71st straight year as well as determine the winner of the Outland Trophy (best interior lineman) and Nagurski Trophy (best defensive player). Our official All-America team will be announced on Dec. 17.
The FWAA has named an All-America team every year since 1944, when the Army sophomore running back tandem of Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis both were selected along with Georgia Tech back Frank Broyles and seven other players who would ultimately be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Until 1950, the FWAA selected a first, second and most years a third All-America team. After that, and until last year, only one consensus first team was chosen each year.
I’m proud to have been a part of the membership that felt compelled to shout out to yesteryear and reinstitute a second team All-America group because of how meaningful the recognition is to so many. So I’m glad to announce we will continue with that tradition and pick a second team for a second straight year.
So pull back the curtain, do your civic duty, and vote again.
The College Football Playoff celebrated the 75-day marker before the national title game on Jan. 12, 2015, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, ESPN College Football analyst and former Texas head football coach Mack Brown and College Football Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock were among the speakers at a luncheon on Oct. 29 at the stadium. The night before the CFP’s 12-member Playoff Selection Committee released its first 25-team poll. The poll will appear weekly on Tuesdays through early December . The CFP’s Selection Committee’s last poll will be announced on Dec. 7, when the national semifinal pairings will be set for the Sugar and Rose Bowls, both to be played on Jan.1 , 2015.
The Football Writers Association of America will hold several events at the national title game site Jan. 9-13. The FWAA’s Annual Award Breakfast will be on Tuesday Jan. 13, the morning after the title game, at the media hotel in Dallas, the Renaissance, in conjunction with the CFP’s press conference with the winning team.
Dave Schulthess, former BYU sports information director and longtime FWAA member, died on Oct. 26.
Duff Tittle of BYU Sports Communications was an intern in the sports information department in 1988, the final year in Schuthess’s 37-year career at BYU. Tittle also interviewed Schulthess for his book, What It Means to be a Cougar.