McCoy, Suh lead awards list
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Texas quarterback Colt McCoy capped a big Thursday night for the Big 12 Conference, winning the Maxwell Award honoring the nation’s best all-around player.
It was just the latest in a series of postseason honors for McCoy, who also is a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. He won the Walter Camp Football Foundation’s player of the year award for the second consecutive season earlier in the day.
Before he beat out fellow Heisman finalists Mark Ingram of Alabama and Tim Tebow of Florida for the Maxwell, he picked up the Davey O’Brien Award at the annual college football awards at Disney World, given to the nation’s best quarterback.
But that was only the beginning of honors for the Big 12.
Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh, also a Heisman finalist, won the Chuck Bednarik Award as the nation’s best defensive player, and took home the Outland Trophy for the best interior lineman. He previously won the Lombardi Award as the nation’s top lineman and Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the nation’s top defensive player.
The powerhouse defensive lineman put together his best performance of the year against No. 2 Texas in the Big 12 title game. He matched his career high with 12 tackles and had 4 1/2 sacks as the Cornhuskers nearly upset the Longhorns, who won 13-12 on a field goal as time expired.
Suh has led the Huskers in tackles two years in a row, with 50 of his 82 this season unassisted. He finished with 12 sacks this season, tied for third-most in school history.
McCoy led the Longhorns to a 13-0 record this season and a spot in the Jan. 7 BCS national championship game against Alabama. He threw for 3,512 yards and 27 touchdowns.
McCoy will be in New York when the Heisman is handed out on Saturday night. Ingram, Tebow, Stanford’s Toby Gerhart and Suh are the other finalists for college football’s most prestigious award.
While Tebow didn’t win any awards on this night, the Florida star brought a little extra company.
Tebow brought 20-year-old Kelly Faughnan from Clifton, Va., as his “date.” Just before Thanksgiving last year, Kelly was diagnosed with a brain tumor, her father, Jim said. She had surgery last December.
Her wish was to go to Disney World during the awards show to get a glimpse of Tebow. The two met Wednesday night, and Tebow said it was then he decided to bring her along to the show.
“I was really touched,” Tebow said.
Cincinnati’s Brian Kelly won the Coach of the Year award on the same day he told his team he was leaving for Notre Dame. Stanford’s Toby Gerhart won the Doak Walker Award for the nation’s best running back. Tennessee star Eric Berry accepted the Jim Thorpe Award honoring the best defensive back.
Notre Dame’s Golden Tate won the Biletnikoff Award as the best receiver. UCLA’s Kai Forbath took home the Lou Groza Award for the best kicker.
Georgia’s Drew Butler won the Ray Guy Award honoring the nation’s best punter. Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich has won the Disney Spirit Award given to college football’s most inspirational figure. Herzlich overcame a rare form of bone cancer and is expected to return next season.