After an undefeated regular season, their fifth SEC Championship in seven years, and yet another berth in the College Football Playoff, it’s safe to say the Alabama Crimson Tide football team is the toast of Tuscaloosa once again.
At the yearly College Football Awards ceremony in Atlanta, the honors were presented to the top players at their respective positions, college football’s coach of the year, and as well as a few others. Of the 14 awards given, the Crimson Tide led the way with six finalists, and they took home four of the awards, the most of any program in 2018.
Jerry Jeudy, Wide Receiver, Alabama
The sophomore wide receiver from Deerfield Beach, Florida beat out Andy Isabella (Massachusetts) and Tylan Wallace (Oklahoma State) as the top pass catcher in college football.
Heading into the College Football Playoff semifinal, Jerry Jeudy caught 59 passes for 1,103 yards and his 12 receiving touchdowns led the SEC. The 6-foot-1 receiver becomes the second Alabama pass catcher to win the Biletnikoff Award, joining Amari Cooper in 2014.
Quinnen Williams, Defensive Tackle, Alabama
Given to the nation’s most outstanding interior lineman, there was probably no one more deserving based on sheer impact than the 6-foot-4, 295-pounder from Birmingham.
Williams burst on the scene in 2018 to rack up 66 tackles, 18 tackles for a loss, and eight sacks during his first year as a full-time starter. Williams’ draft stock is rising, and he beat out Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins and his teammate, junior right tackle Jonah Williams, who Quinnen called “the best player I’ve ever played against” in his acceptance speech.
Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Award
Tua Tagovailoa, Quarterback, Alabama
While he wasn’t given the Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s top quarterback, the sophomore from Ewa Beach, Hawaii came away with the Maxwell and Walter Camp Awards, both given to the college football player of the year as determined by NCAA head coaches, sportswriters, and the Maxwell Football Club and Walter Camp Football Foundation.
Tua Tagovailoa takes home both awards over players like Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray and West Virginia quarterback Will Grier. The Crimson Tide’s star quarterback shined all season, and he accepted the awards wearing a walking boot as he recovers from a high ankle sprain. He is “right on schedule” in his rehab process and expects to return for the CFP semifinal against Oklahoma on December 29.
For reference, the last four Maxwell Award winners went on to win the Heisman Trophy.
Aside from the Crimson Tide athletes who took home hardware, here are the rest of the honorees from Thursday night’s ceremony:
Chuck Bednarik Award
Description: College Defensive Player of the Year
Winner: Josh Allen, Linebacker, Kentucky
Lou Groza Award
Description: Nation’s Outstanding Placekicker
Winner: Andre Szmyt, Kicker, Syracuse
Ray Guy Award
Description: College Punter of the Year
Winner: Braden Mann, Punter, Texas A&M
Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award
Description: Nation’s Best Quarterback
Winner: Kyler Murray, Quarterback, Oklahoma
Paycom Jim Thorpe Award
Description: Nation’s Best Defensive Back
Winner: DeAndre Baker, Cornerback, Georgia
Doak Walker Award
Description: Nation’s Premier Running Back
Winner: Jonathan Taylor, Running Back, Wisconsin
The Home Depot Coach of the Year
Winner: Brian Kelly, Notre Dame
NCFAA Contributions to College Football Award
Winner: Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Disney Spirit Award
Winner: Tyler Trent, Inspirational Purdue football super fan