Walter Camp Football Foundation Announces Five Finalists for 2021 Player of Year Award
Two quarterbacks, two defensive players and one running back are among the five finalists for the 2021 Walter Camp Player of Year award, the nation’s fourth-oldest college football honor. Georgia senior nose tackle Jordan Davis, Michigan senior defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, Pittsburgh senior quarterback Kenny Pickett, Michigan State junior running back Kenneth Walker III and Alabama sophomore quarterback Bryce Young comprise the list.
The 2021 Walter Camp Player of Year recipient, who is voted on by the 130 Football Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors, will be announced on Thursday, December 9 on The Home Depot College Football Awards show.
Former Alabama wide receiver and current Philadelphia Eagle DeVonta Smith was the 2020 Player of Year.
Davis has led the top-ranked Georgia defensive unit, which has allowed a nation-low 6.92 points per game. Despite double and triple teams against him, Davis has recorded 24 total tackles, 3.5 for losses, and two quarterback sacks. Georgia opponents are averaging just 2.49 yards per carry, and the Bulldogs have surrendered two rushing touchdowns this season. Georgia (12-0) will face Alabama in the Southeastern Conference championship game on Saturday.
Hutchinson has recorded 51 tackles (39 solo), including 14 for losses, and 12.5 quarterback sacks for the second-ranked Wolverines (11-1). His 3.5 sack effort in a win over Ohio State on November 27 earned him Walter Camp National Defensive Player of Week honors. The Big Ten Defensive Player of Year, Hutchinson has eight quarterback hurries and forced two fumbles for Michigan, who will face Iowa in the conference title game on Saturday.
Pickett has led Pittsburgh to a 10-2 record and a berth in this weekend’s Atlantic Coast Conference title game against Wake Forest. For the season, Pickett has thrown for 4,066 yards, which ranks fifth among all FBS quarterbacks, and 40 touchdowns. He has completed 67.7 percent of his passes (314-of-466). He threw for three or more touchdowns in a game eight times and passed for a season-high 519 yards against Miami on Oct. 30.
Walker has rushed for 1,636 yards, second among all FBS running backs, and 18 touchdowns for the 10-2 Spartans. Walker has posted eight 100-yard rushing efforts, including a season-high 264 in a victory over Northwestern on September 3. He also scored a season-high five touchdowns in a win over Big Ten-rival Michigan on Oct. 30 and earned Walter Camp National Offensive Player of Week honors.
Young has completed 68.9 percent of his pass attempts (288-of-418) for the 11-1 Crimson Tide, who will face Georgia in the SEC title game this weekend. For the season, Young has thrown for 3,901 yards and 40 touchdowns, including a season-high 559 yards and five touchdowns in a win over Arkansas on November 20 that earned him Walter Camp National Offensive Player of Week honors.
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 (www.waltercamp.org,@WalterCampFF) – a New Haven-based all-volunteer group – was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and to continue the tradition of selecting annually an All-America team. The 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. For more information, visit the association’s website, www.ncfaa.org