March 6, 2021

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Alabama Crimson Tide players take home several major college football awards

As Alabama prepares for Monday’s national championship game against Ohio State, five Crimson Tide players were honored with individual awards Thursday at the Home Depot College Football Awards.

As expected, Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith won the Fred Biletnikoff Award (best receiver), while quarterback Mac Jones (Davey O’Brien), left tackle Alex Leatherwood (Outland), running back Najee Harris (Doak Walker) and center Landon Dickerson (Rimington) were honored for their outstanding seasons.

Smith was also honored with the Maxwell Award, given to the nation’s best player, to become the first non-quarterback to win it since Alabama’s Derrick Henry in 2015, when he also won the Heisman.

Here is the list of individual awards whose winners were announced Thursday:

Davey O’Brien Award: A first-team Associated Press All-American, Jones threw for 4,036 yards with 36 touchdowns and just four interceptions. Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, who finished ahead of Jones in the Heisman Trophy voting, and Florida’s Kyle Trask were also finalists.

Fred Biletnikoff Award: It was fitting that Smith, who was the first wide receiver to win the Heisman since Desmond Howard won it while playing for Michigan in 1991, also took home the Biletnikoff. The other two finalists were Ole Miss’ Elijah Moore and Florida’s Kyle Pitts. Smith has caught 105 passes for 1,641 yards and 20 touchdowns with the championship game still to play.

Maxwell Award: Smith’s sweep of the Heisman, Maxwell and Biletnikoff ensures that his 2020 season will be remembered as one of the best for a wide receiver in college football history. The Maxwell’s other finalists were teammate Jones and Clemson’s Lawrence.

Doak Walker Award: Harris ran for 1,387 yards (6.1 yards per carry) with a nation-best 24 touchdowns. He combined for 303 yards in Alabama’s past two wins, against Florida in the SEC championship game (178) and Notre Dame in the College Football Playoff semifinal (125). Iowa State’s Breece Hall, the nation’s leading rusher, and Clemson’s Travis Etienne were also finalists.

Outland Trophy: Leatherwood is the third member of the Crimson Tide to win the Outland since 2016, joining Quinnen Williams (2018) and Cam Robinson (2016). One of the NFL’s top left tackle prospects, Leatherwood beat out Notre Dame’s Liam Eichenberg and Iowa’s Daviyon Nixon. Last season’s winner, Oregon’s Penei Sewell, opted out prior to the season.

Rimington Trophy: A unanimous first-team All-American, Dickerson beat out Iowa’s Tyler Linderbaum and Ohio State’s Josh Myers to win the trophy given to the nation’s best center.

Chuck Bednarik Award: Tulsa’s Zaven Collins won the award given to the nation’s top defensive player ahead of Notre Dame’s Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and Alabama’s Patrick Surtain II. In eight games, Collins finished with 53 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 4 sacks and 4 interceptions. Collins was also honored with the Bronko Nagurski Award two weeks ago.

Lou Groza Award: Miami’s Jose Borregales was named the nation’s top kicker after a near perfect season. He converted 20 of 22 field goals — going 2-of-2 from 50-plus yards — and converted all 37 extra-point attempts. Alabama’s Will Reichard and BYU’s Jake Oldroyd were the other finalists.

Ray Guy Award: Georgia Tech’s Pressley Harvin III made history as the first African American to win the award, given to the nation’s best punter. He averaged 48.0 yards per punt and 18 of his 45 punts were downed inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. He beat out Georgia’s Jake Camarda and Miami’s Lou Hedley.

Paycom Jim Thorpe Award: TCU safety Trevon Moehrig, who announced on Saturday he would enter the NFL draft, won the award given to the nation’s best defensive back. He was a first-team ESPN All-American and beat out UCF’s Richie Grant and Alabama’s Surtain to win.

John Mackey Award: Florida’s Pitts, also a finalist for the Biletnikoff, was named the nation’s best tight end after catching 43 passes for 770 yards with 12 touchdowns. The other finalists were Iowa State’s Charlie Kolar and Texas A&M’s Jalen Wydermyer.