Walter Camp Football Foundation Announces Five Finalists for 2020 Player of the Year Award
Three members of top-ranked Alabama comprise the list of five finalists for the Walter Camp Football Foundation 2020 Player of the Year award. Senior running back Najee Harris, junior quarterback Mac Jones, and senior wide receiver Devonta Smith are on the list along with Clemson junior quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Florida senior quarterback Kyle Trask.
The 2020 Walter Camp Player of the Year recipient, who is voted on by the 130 Football Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors, will be announced on Thursday, January 7 during the 6 p.m. edition of ESPN SportsCenter.
Former LSU and current Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow was the 2019 Walter Camp Player of the Year.
Harris was the MVP of the Southeastern Conference Championship game on Dec. 12, rushing for 178 yards and two touchdowns, while adding 67 yards receiving and three more touchdowns. Harris leads the nation in total touchdowns (27) and rushing touchdowns (24). Harris ranks fourth in the nation with 1,262 rushing yards and has totaled 1,578 all-purpose yards in 2020, averaging 143.5 per game.
Jones is in his first full season as Alabama’s starting quarterback, leading the Crimson Tide to an 11-0 record and the SEC title. Jones has completed 250-of-327 passes for a nation-leading completion percentage of 76.5, while his passer rating of 202.3 also ranks first. He has thrown for 3,739 yards (second-most in the nation) and 32 touchdowns (tied for third most). Jones has thrown for over 400 yards four times (the most in a career in Alabama history) and tossed four or more TDs six times.
Lawrence was named the 2020 Atlantic Coast Conference Offensive Player of the Year while leading Clemson to the No. 2 seed in the College Football Playoff. Lawrence became the first starting quarterback to win three ACC Championship Games. Lawrence won all nine of his starts (he missed two games due to COVID protocols), completing 198-of-286 passes for 2,753 yards and a completion percentage of 69.2 with 22 touchdowns and four interceptions. He finished the season with a passer rating of 172.7.
Smith was named the 2020 SEC Offensive Player of the Year, leading Alabama to the SEC title and the top seed in the CFP. Smith leads the country with 98 receptions and 1,511 receiving yards while his 17 touchdown catches and 137.4 receiving yards per game are both second-best in the nation. He posted four games with 11 or more receptions, including a career-best and SEC title-game record 15 against Florida. He recorded seven games with over 100 yards receiving (all with at least 144 yards), including 231 yards on eight catches at LSU.
Trask holds national-best totals of 375.0 passing yards per game, 4,125 passing yards, 43 touchdown passes, 46 overall touchdowns and 285 completions. His 186.65 passer rating is fifth-best nationally while his completion percentage of 69.7 is ninth best. Trask’s 43 touchdown passes are tied for the eighth-highest total through 11 games in FBS history while his 375.0 passing yards per game is currently third-best ever in SEC history. Trask became the first player in SEC history and the only FBS quarterback in the last 15 seasons to throw at least three TD passes in nine consecutive games.
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. Visit www.waltercamp.org.
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.