New Haven, Conn. – The Walter Camp Football Foundation has announced the names of fifteen “Players to Watch” for its 2014 Player of the Year award, the fourth-oldest college football award in the nation.
Players from the top seven teams in the most recent College Football Playoff rankings are on the list, including wide receiver Amari Cooper and quarterback Blake Sims from top-ranked Alabama (9-1). Quarterbacks Marcus Mariota from second-ranked Oregon (9-1), Jameis Winston from third-ranked Florida State (10-0), and Dak Prescott from fourth-ranked Mississippi State (9-1) are on the list.
Winston was the 2013 Walter Camp Player of the Year after leading the Seminoles to the national title game.
The 15-player watch list includes eight quarterbacks, three defensive players, two wide receivers and two running backs. Fourteen different schools and seven conferences are represented on the list.
“It’s been another exciting college football season with many teams and players still in the hunt for national recognition,” Foundation president James Monico said. “We’ve identified some outstanding players and we know the final weeks of the regular season should be even more thrilling.”
A list of five finalists will be announced on Wednesday, December 3.
The 2014 Walter Camp Player of the Year recipient, who is voted on by the Football Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors, will be presented on Thursday, December 11 during the 6 p.m. edition of ESPN SportsCenter. The 2014 winner will receive his trophy at the Foundation’s annual national awards banquet on Saturday, January 17, 2015 at the Yale University Commons in New Haven. Sponsorships and tickets are available by calling (203) 288-CAMP.
Walter Camp, “The Father of American football,” first selected an All-America team in 1889. Camp – a former Yale University athlete and football coach – is also credited with developing play from scrimmage, set plays, the numerical assessment of goals and tries and the restriction of play to eleven men per side. The Walter Camp Football Foundation – a New Haven-based all-volunteer group – was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and continue the tradition of selecting an annual All-America team.
The Walter Camp Football Foundation is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game’s predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients. Visit www.ncfaa.org.
2014 Walter Camp Player of the Year “Players to Watch”
J.T. BARRETT, RS Freshman, QB, OHIO STATE – Has passed for 2,356 yards and 29 touchdowns for the 9-1 Buckeyes.
TREVON BOYKIN, Junior, QB, TCU – Has passed for 3,201 yards and 24 touchdowns for the 9-1 Horned Frogs.
RAKEEM CATO, Senior, QB, MARSHALL – Has passed for 2,613 yards and 26 touchdowns for the 10-0 Thundering Herd.
AMARI COOPER, Junior, WR, ALABAMA – Has caught 87 passes for 1,303 yards and 11 touchdowns for the 9-1 Crimson Tide.
MELVIN GORDON, Junior, RB, WISCONSIN – Leads nation with 1,909 rushing yards, averaging 8.6 yards a carry, and has scored 23 touchdowns for the 8-2 Badgers.
RASHARD HIGGINS, Sophomore, WR, COLORADO STATE – Has caught 67 passes for 1,280 yards and 13 touchdowns for the 9-1 Rams.
GEROD HOLLIMAN, Sophomore, DB, LOUISVILLE – Leads the nation with 13 interceptions for the 7-3 Cardinals.
DUKE JOHNSON, Junior, RB, MIAMI (FLA) – Has rushed for 1,343 yards and 10 touchdowns for the 6-4 Hurricanes.
MARCUS MARIOTA, Junior, QB, OREGON – Has passed for 2,780 yards and 29 touchdowns, and has eight rushing touchdowns for the 9-1 Ducks.
BRYCE PETTY, Senior, QB, BAYLOR – Has passed for 2,421 yards and 21 touchdowns for the 8-1 Bears.
DAK PRESCOTT, Junior, QB, MISSISSIPPI STATE – Has passed for 2,521 yards and 20 touchdowns, and has 11 rushing scores for the 9-1 Bulldogs.
BLAKE SIMS, Senior, QB, ALABAMA – Has passed for 2,454 yards and 18 touchdowns for the 9-1 Crimson Tide.
SHAQ THOMPSON, Junior, LB/RB, WASHINGTON – Has 60 tackles and scored four defensive touchdowns, while rushing for 456 yards for the 6-5 Huskies.
JAMEIS WINSTON, Sophomore, QB, FLORIDA STATE – Has passed for 2,844 yards and 18 touchdowns for the 10-0 Seminoles.
SCOOBY WRIGHT, Sophomore, LB, ARIZONA – Has 117 tackles, 21 for losses, and 12 quarterback sacks for the 8-2 Wildcats.