Manziel, Winston, McCarron up for awards
Jameis Winston, Johnny Manziel and AJ McCarron -- all among the nation's top Heisman contenders -- were named on Monday as the three finalists for both the O'Brien and Maxwell (college player of the year) awards.
Johnny Manziel might soon have company in what until now has been a party of one.
Last season, the Texas A&M quarterback became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy and the Davey O'Brien Award, which goes to the nation's best quarterback, after helping the Aggies' explosive offense run roughshod over most of the SEC. Now Florida State's Jameis Winston could join him after what has been a similarly productive redshirt freshman season.
Winston, Manziel and Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron -- all among the nation's top Heisman contenders -- were named Monday as the finalists for both the O'Brien and Maxwell (college player of the year) awards. The quarterback trio highlights the list of finalists for The Home Depot College Football Awards, which will air on Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Winston -- who ranks first nationally with an opponent-adjusted Total QBR of 92.6 -- and McCarron seem to be on a collision course to play for the BCS championship as No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Florida State remain unbeaten with one game left in the regular season.
Winston could face sexual assault charges stemming from an incident in December 2012. The Florida state attorney's office is weighing whether it believes it has sufficient evidence to bring charges.
The quarterbacks are not the only members of the Crimson Tide or Seminoles who are finalists for the various awards.
FSU's Lamarcus Joyner is a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, which goes to the top defensive back, along with Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard and Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert, while Seminoles kicker Roberto Aguayo is a finalist for the Lou Groza Award, along with Texas' Anthony Fera and South Florida's Marvin Kloss.
Linebacker C.J. Mosley, a captain of Alabama's FBS-leading scoring defense, is a finalist for the Bednarik Award (defensive player of the year) along with UCLA's Anthony Barr and Pittsburgh's Aaron Donald. Donald is another double nominee, as he is also a finalist for the Outland Trophy.
Other Heisman contenders figure into what should be close races at running back and receiver.
National rushing leader Andre Williams of Boston College (2,073 yards, 16 TDs) has surged into the Heisman conversation after rushing for 897 yards in the last three games -- 295 against New Mexico State, 339 against NC State and 263 against Maryland -- and might be the front-runner for the Doak Walker Award, which goes to the nation's premier running back. However, fellow finalists Bishop Sankey of Washington (1,575 yards, 17 TDs) and Ka'Deem Carey of Arizona (1,559, 16) have been exceptional all season and are coming off outstanding performances over the weekend as well.
The finalists for the Biletnikoff Award have posted phenomenal numbers this season, setting the table for what could also be a close vote. Oregon State's Brandin Cooks leads the nation in receiving yards with 1,560 yards and 15 touchdowns on 110 catches, but Texas A&M's Mike Evans (61 catches, 1,314 yards, 12 TDs) and Clemson's Sammy Watkins (78, 1,144, 10) have had huge games under a brighter national spotlight.
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