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QB Brandon Weeden Tops Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Finalists

QB Brandon Weeden Tops 2011 Johnny Unitas Award Finalists

QB Brandon Weeden – OSU

The list of candidates for the 2011 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm, Award has been narrowed to 10 top college quarterbacks, including Oklahoma St’s Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma ’s Landry Jones, Houston ’s Case Keenum, and Stanford’s Andrew Luck.
Weeden is college football's oldest QB. He turned 28 years old last Friday, as old as half of the current starting NFL QBs. Weeden has only six on 260 passing attempts, while his touchdown total has soared up to 16. Last week against Texas, he set three new school records for passes (60), completions (47) and passing yards (438).

For the 2011 season after six games, he has completed 189 passes of 260 attempts for an amazing 72.7% for 2098 yards with 16 TDs and 6 interceptions. He is on pace to throw for over 4000 yards with 35+ TD passes leading the Cowboys potent passing attack.

2011 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award

Johnny Unitas award was narrowed from an original field of 25, to 10 college QBs in the running for the Golden Arm Award.

The 10 Finalists for the 2011 Golden Arm Award are:
· Nick Foles - Arizona
· Robert Griffin - Baylor
· Landry Jones - Oklahoma
· Case Keenum - Houston
· Andrew Luck - Stanford
· Kellen Moore - Boise St
· Ryan Tannehill - Texas A & M
· Brandon Weeden - Oklahoma St
· Russell Wilson - Wisconsin
· Tyler Wilson - Arkansas

Named after the man many refer to as the greatest quarterback ever to play football, the prestigious Golden Arm Award is presented annually by the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation, Inc. Candidates for the Golden Arm Award must be completing their college eligibility or be a fourth-year junior, on schedule to graduate with his class. Candidates are judged upon character, citizenship, scholastic achievement, leadership qualities, and athletic accomplishments.

The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award will be presented on Friday, December 9 in downtown Baltimore. A number of former Baltimore Colts teammates will be there, including Raymond Berry, Jimmy Orr, and Art Donovan.

Since 1987, past winners of the award include Colt McCoy ( Texas , 2009), Matt Ryan ( Boston College , 2007), Brady Quinn (Notre Dame, 2006), Matt Leinart (USC, 2005), Eli Manning (Ole Miss, 2003), Carson Palmer (USC, 2002), Peyton Manning ( Tennessee , 1997). and Rodney Peete (USC, 1988).

Proceeds from the Golden Arm Awards help to support the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation. The Foundation provides financial assistance to underprivileged and deserving young scholar-athletes throughout Maryland and Kentucky .

The namesake of the Golden Arm Award has a storied history. Johnny Unitas was an 18-year veteran of the NFL, who played his collegiate career at the University of Louisville before joining the Baltimore Colts in 1958. His career passing figures include 2,830 pass completions for 40,239 yards, 290 TD passes and one that may stand forever – throwing a TD pass in 47 consecutive games.

Unitas was inducted into Pro Football’s Hall of Fame in 1979. Further, the Hall of Fame, in commemorations of the NFL’s 25th, 50th, and 75th anniversaries selected Unitas as the top QB k of all-time. In turn-of-the-century listings, he was named to Sports Illustrated list of top 10 athletes, Time Magazine’s list of 10 most influential athletes, and ESPN’s series on the 50 greatest athletes of the century.

For more information, visit www.goldenarmfoundation.com

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Thorpe and All-American teams. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He is also a member of the FWAA and voter in College team and player awards.

T.J. McDonald - USC Named the Jim Thorpe Winner


T.J. McDonald of USC Named the Jim Thorpe Defensive Back of the Week Award

Southern Cal safety T.J. McDonald wins the Jim Thorpe weekly award after making several big plays in their 48-41 win over Arizona. McDonald had another strong performance that included six tackles, a pass break up and two key interceptions in the 1st quarter that allowed USC to take an early 17-0 lead.

Photo - Safety T.J. McDonald – USC

McDonald also sealed the Trojans win by recovering Arizona’s onside kick with a minute left after the Wildcats had cut the lead to seven. Also noteworthy of McDonald’s outstanding effort was his first interception ended Arizona quarterback Nick Foles’ streak of 210 passes without an interception dating back to 2010.

McDonald who was named a team captain this season was also a member of the 2011 Jim Thorpe Award Preseason Watch List after earning second team All-Pac-10 honors a season ago. He ranks as DraftInsiders.com #1 safety for the NFL Draft currently. As a junior, he would have to declare in January 2012 to enter the NFL process.

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards. He has voted in the Jim Thorpe award for the past 15 years. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game.

Honorable Mention Players for Week Five:

Jarred Holley, Pittsburgh, Junior Free Safety-Holley had a team-high 10 tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble in Pittsburgh’s 44-17 win over USF. Holley spearheaded a Pitt defense that held USF to nearly 100 yards below its season average and 28.5 points below their season scoring average.

Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma, Sophomore Nickel Back Safety-Three Jefferson interceptions on three straight drives powered a second quarter scoring surge in Oklahoma’s 62-6 rout of Ball State. All three of Jefferson’s interceptions led to Sooner touchdowns and they came against Ball State quarterback Keith Wenning who had not thrown an interception in 176 attempts.

Tyrann Mathieu, LSU, Sophomore Cornerback - Mathieu continued his impressive sophomore campaign with five tackles, one sack, two forced fumbles, returning one 23 yards for a touchdown in LSU’s 35-7 win over Kentucky.

Keith Tandy, West Virginia, Senior Cornerback-Tandy had two interceptions that he returned for a combined 29 yards along with two pass breakups and three solo tackles in West Virginia’s 55-10 win over Bowling Green.

About the Jim Thorpe Award:
The Thorpe Award, one of the most coveted awards in college football, is celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2011. The Award, established in 1986, is named after history’s greatest all-around athlete, Jim Thorpe. Thorpe excelled as a running back, passer and kicker on the offensive side of the ball, but also stood out as a defensive back. In addition to his legendary performance on the football field, Thorpe played professional baseball and won Olympic gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon.

The candidates for the award are selected by a “screening committee” of Jim Thorpe Association members who follow several players throughout the season, watching games and researching information sources to grade Thorpe Award candidates on the basis of performance on the field, athletic ability and character. The committee then narrows the field to three finalists and the names of these finalists are submitted to a national panel of about 50 sports writers, sportscasters, coaches and former players who vote to determine the winner.

The Thorpe Award Winner is selected from three finalists and will be announced at The Home Depot College Football Awards Show on December 8, 2011 on ESPN.

The 25th Anniversary Jim Thorpe Award Banquet will be held on Tuesday, February 7, 2012 in Oklahoma City, OK.

The Jim Thorpe Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game’s predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients. For more information, visit the association’s official website, ncfaa.org.

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Thorpe and All-American teams. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He is also a member of the FWAA and voter in College team and player awards.

TE Dwayne Allen Named Mackey Weekly Winner

Dwayne Allen Named John Mackey Weekly Award Winner

Photo - Dwayne Allen – Clemson

Dwayne Allen of Clemson was named John Mackey Tight End of the Week by the Nassau County Sports Commission. The ACC Atlantic Division junior recorded seven receptions for 80 yards and a receiving TD. Allen's touchdown came when the team was down 21-7 in the second quarter igniting a 31-3 run as Clemson beat Auburn 38-24 to snap Auburn's17 game win streak. Other candidates considered for this week's Mackey Tight End of the Week include Cooper Helfet of Duke and Orson Charles of Georgia.

Allen is an athletic 6’4’’ 255 lb. junior who combines speed, mobility strength and athleticism. He caught 33 balls for 373 yards and a TD last season and figures to improve on those totals working with new QB Tajh Boyd.

The 2011 recipient of "The Mackey" will be announced at the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Red Carpet Show December 8, 2011 on ESPNU. Please visit www.johnmackeyaward.org for all Mackey Award related information including the John Mackey Selection Committee, the selection process and award criteria, information on all past award recipients and a high resolution image of the award trophy available for download.

The John Mackey Tight End of the Week is an honor distinct and different from the annual John Mackey Award. This weekly honor was started in 2004 to draw attention to individual play by Tight Ends during the active season. The Tight End of the Week acknowledgment does not have a direct bearing on the final John Mackey Award selection process. The Nassau County Sports Commission, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization sponsored by Briarcliffe College, is responsible for the administration of the John Mackey Award and the John Mackey Award Selection Committee.

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Thorpe and All-American teams. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He is also a member of the FWAA and voter in College team and player awards.

Clemson's Da’Quan Bowers Wins Nagurski Award

Da’Quan Bowers Wins Nagurski Award

Photo – DE Da’Quan Bowers – Clemson

Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers has been named the recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Award. The honor is presented each year by the Football Writers Association of America and the Touchdown Club of Charlotte to the top defensive player in the nation.

Bowers is the first Clemson player to win a national award of this magnitude since 1982 when Terry Kinard was named the National Defensive Player of the Year.

The other finalists for the Nagurski Award were DT Nick Fairley of Auburn, LB Justin Houston of Georgia, LB Luke Kuechly of Boston College and CB Patrick Peterson of LSU.

Frank Coyle voted for Auburn’s DT Nick Fairley for the Nagurski Award.

"This is a great honor for Da'Quan," said Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney, who was the keynote speaker for the banquet. "He has had a terrific year, a dominant year. He has come to play every single game this year and is very deserving of this award."

Bowers led the nation in sacks with 15.5 and was second in tackles for loss with 25. His sack total is second in Clemson history for one season, best among defensive linemen and is the most by an ACC player since 1999 when Keith Adams had a Clemson record 16 sacks.

Bowers's tackle for loss total is the most by a Clemson defensive lineman since 1991 when Rob Bodine had 27. Bowers had a streak of nine straight games with a sack during this season, the longest streak in Clemson history. Last week, Bowers was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year. The junior is also finalist for the Bednarik Award, Lombardi Award and Hendricks Award. Those announcements will come later this week.

Playing with a heavy heart following the deaths this year of his father, Dennis, and close friend Gaines Adams of the Chicago Bears, Bowers burst onto the scene this fall after two average seasons. The 6’4” 275 lbs. junior had shed 15 pounds and was performing well in preseason camp in August when his father collapsed while performing in his gospel band. Bowers was later visiting him in the hospital when his father suffered a seizure and died. Bowers spent two weeks away before rejoining the team.

Bowers wore Adams' old #93 this and had a sack in nine straight games, breaking Adams' record by a game. He's surpassed Adams' record for sacks by a defensive lineman and needs one sack when Clemson (6-6) meets South Florida (7-5) in the Meineke Bowl on Dec. 31 to break Keith Adams' overall school sacks record.

Bowers first met Adams when he attended a Clemson camp in the eighth grade. Adams would later set numerous Clemson records and was a finalist for the Nagurski Trophy in 2006 before being a first-round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the following spring. Adams, who was later traded to Chicago, died in January of cardiac arrest. The autopsy report said he had an enlarged heart.

Bowers had tough competition for the Nagurski award named after the former Minnesota college star and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Fairley has 10½ sacks and 21 tackles for a loss, Kuechly leads the country with 171 tackles, Houston has 10 sacks and 18½ tackles for a loss and Peterson has four interceptions.
Bowers' big season puts him among an elite group of past winners that includes Warren Sapp, Charles Woodson, Champ Bailey, Roy Williams, Glenn Dorsey, Brian Orakpo and Ndamukong Suh.
"It's incredible," Bowers said. "It's just an honor to be here in this situation."

Frank Coyle writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He is also a member of the FWAA and voter in College team and player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Thorpe, etc. He is a voter for weekly Team and Player Awards

Draft Insiders' Mid Season All-American Team

Pro Prospects For NFL Draft 2010
Draft Insiders' October Newsletter
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Photo - DE Eric Norwood - South Carolina

2009 Mid Season All-American First Team

Pos/ Player/ Class/ School
QB Tim Tebow - Sr. - Florida
RB Noel Devine - Jr. - West Virginia
RB Mark Ingram - Jr - Alabama
RB C.J. Spiller - Sr - Clemson
WR Jordan Shipley - Sr - Texas
WR Golden Tate - Jr - Notre Dame
WR Mardy Gilyard - Sr - Cincinnati
TE Dennis Pitta - Sr. - BYU
OT Russell Okung - Sr. - Oklahoma St
OT Anthony Davis - Jr. - Rutgers
OG Mike Johnson - Sr. - Alabama
OG Jeff Byers - Sr. - USC
OC Maurkice Pouncey - Sr. - Florida

DE Eric Norwood - Sr. - South Carolina
DE Jerry Hughes - Sr. - TCU
DT Terrence Cody - Sr. - Alabama
DT Ndamukong Suh - Sr. - Nebraska
LB Brandon Spikes - Sr. - Florida
LB Sean Weatherspoon - Sr. - Missouri
LB Rolando McClain - Jr. - Alabama
LB Greg Jones - Jr - Michigan St
CB Joe Haden - Jr. - Florida
CB Perrish Cox - Sr. - Oklahoma St.
S Eric Berry - Jr - Tennessee
S Taylor Mays - Sr. - USC

Special Teams
K Leigh Tiffin - Sr. - Alabama
KR C.J. Spiller - Sr - Clemson
P Zoltan Mesko - Sr. - Michigan
PR Jordan Shipley - Sr. - Texas

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