The finalists have been announced for the National College Football Awards Association awards. The event will be held virtually on Thursday, Jan. 7 at 7 p.m. ET and will be aired on ESPN.
Below are a list of awards being handed out at the event, and who some of the favorites might be to take home the hardware.
Winner: DeVonta Smith
This goes to the college football player of the year, and the finalists are Alabama’s Mac Jones and DeVonta Smith and Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence.
All three are Heisman finalists with Smith as the betting favorite to win the Heisman. After three touchdowns on Saturday, Smith went up to 20 receiving touchdowns on the season and surpassed 100 catches.
Chuck Bednarik Award
Winner: Zaven Collins
This award goes to the defensive player of the year, and the finalists include Tulsa’s Zaven Collins, Notre Dame’s Jeremiah Oswusu-Koramoa and Alabama’s Patrick Surtain II.
Collins has the most impressive statistics among the group, as the junior linebacker has 53 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss as well as four sacks and four interceptions.
Winner: DeVonta Smith
The award for the most outstanding receiver includes Ole Miss’ Elijah Moore, Florida’s Kyle Pitts and Alabama’s DeVonta Smith as the finalists.
Smith is probably the single best player in all of college football this season, so he should be the favorite to win the Biletnikoff Award.
Lou Groza Award
Winner: Jose Borregales
As you might imagine, this one goes to the nation’s most outstanding placekicker. The finalists include Miami’s Jose Borregales, BYU’s Jake Oldroyd and Alabama’s Will Reichard.
Reichard led all of college football in scoring this season with 116 total points on extra points and field goals.
Ray Guy Award
Winner: Pressley Harvin III
The punter of the year candidates are Georgia’s Jake Camarda, Georgia Tech’s Pressley Harvin III and Miami’s Lou Hedley.
Harvin III leads the country in yards per punt with an average of 48 yards.
Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award
Winner: Mac Jones
The finalists for this award include Alabama’s Mac Jones, Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and Florida’s Kyle Trask.
All three players are in the running for the Heisman Trophy, and this should be a pretty close finish. I would have Jones as the favorite in this one, but it’s up for grabs.
Winner: Alex Leatherwood
This goes to the most outstanding interior lineman, and the finalists are Notre Dame’s Liam Eichenberg, Alabama’s Alex Leatherwood and Iowa’s Daviyon Nixon.
Leatherwood’s Crimson Tide got the best of Notre Dame and Liam Eichenberg in the Rose Bowl, while Nixon’s season at Iowa ended with a bowl game cancellation.
Jim Thorpe Award
Winner: Trevon Moehrig
The award for the nation’s best defensive back could o to UCF’s Richie Grant, TCU’s Trevon Moehrig and Alabama’s Patrick Surtain II.
Surtain has a chance to bring home two awards as he is also in the Chuck Bednarik Award given to the nation’s best defensive player.
Doak Walker Award
Winner: Najee Harris
This goes to the nation’s best running back, and it includes Clemson’s Travis Etienne, Iowa State’s Breece Hall and Alabama’s Najee Harris.
Even though he’s incredibly talented, Breece Hall probably doesn’t have a big enough name to win an award like this. I’d tag Harris as the favorite.
The Home Depot Coach of the Year
Winner: Jamey Chadwell, Coastal Carolina
William V. Campbell Trophy Presented by Mazda
Winner: Brady White
The 12 finalists for the scholar-athlete award include Grand Valley State’s Tyler Bradfield, Texas’ Sam Ehlinger, Abilene Christian’s Jack Gibbens, Alabama State’s Ezra Gray, Charlotte’s Tyriq Harris, Illinois State’s Drew Himmelman, Hampden-Sydney’s Tyler Howerton, Boise State’s Kekaula Kaniho, Tennessee’s Brandon Kennedy, Navy’s Cameron Kinley, Washington’s Elijah Molden and Memphis’ Brady White.
Disney Spirit Award
Winner: Darien Rencher, Clemson
The AllState AFCA Good Works Team
The team captain is New Mexico’s Telton Saltes, and the full list of team members includes 22 players and can be found can be found here.
Walter Camp All America Team
This will be announced on Jan. 7.
John Mackey Award
The award for the most outstanding tight end includes Florida’s Kyle Pitts, Iowa State’s Charlie Kolar and Texas A&M’s Jalen Wydermyer.
I would be stunned if Pitts does not come away with this award with the season he put together especially early on before missing time down the stretch.
Winner: Landon Dickerson
The most outstanding center award will go to either Alabama’s Landon Dickerson, Iowa’s Tyler Linderbaum or Ohio State’s Josh Myers.
Dickerson is a true leader at Alabama, but he suffered ligament damage in his knee during the SEC Championship Game.
Winner: Teton Saltes
The community service award finalists include Texas’ Sam Ehlinger, New Mexico’s Teton Saltes and Georgia Southern’s Shai Werts.
Unfortunately I have not been following community service hours for individual players this college football season, but given that Saltes is the captain of the Good Works Team, maybe he’s the favorite in this one.