New Haven, Conn. – Two players from the Pac-12 Conference – Oregon junior quarterback Marcus Mariota and Arizona sophomore linebacker Scooby Wright III – lead the list of five finalists for the Walter Camp Football Foundation 2014 Player of the Year award. Junior quarterback Trevone Boykin (TCU), junior running back Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin) and junior wide receiver Amari Cooper (Alabama) round out the finalist list.
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 announced on Thursday, December 11 during the 6 p.m. edition of ESPN SportsCenter.
Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston won the award last year.
The 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. The Foundation is offering a “Holiday Ticket Promotion” for the National Awards Dinner, which is presented by First Niagara Bank. Buy two tickets for $450 (you save $150) before December 31. Please call (203) 288-CAMP (288-2267) for more information.
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.
The finalists for the 2014 Walter Camp Player of the Year award:
TREVONE BOYKIN – TCU – Sophomore – Quarterback – Trevone Boykin has completed 249-of-420 passes for 3,254 yards and 26 touchdowns for the high-scoring Horned Frogs (11-1), who ranked third in the nation in scoring offense (46.1 points per game). Boykin has thrown for 300 or more yards in a game five times, including a season-high 433 (and a career-best 7 touchdown passes) on October 25 versus Texas Tech which earned him Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week honors. A dual-threat, Boykin has also rushed for eight touchowns.
AMARI COOPER – ALABAMA – Junior – Wide Receiver – The nation’s second-leading receiver (1,573 yards, 131.1 yards per game), Amari Cooper has been a standout for the top-ranked 11-1 Crimson Tide, who will play in the Southeastern Conference title game this weekend. Cooper has 14 receiving touchdowns on the season. Cooper has four games with 10 or more catches, including a season-high 13 (for 224 yards and three touchdowns) on November 29 versus Auburn, which earned him Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week honors.
MELVIN GORDON – WISCONSIN – Junior – Running Back – The 2014 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, Melvin Gordon leads the nation with 2,260 rushing yards for the 10-2 Badgers, who will play in this weekend’s conference championship game. He has rushed for 26 touchdowns. He also leads the nation in all-purpose yardage (200.9 yards per game). Gordon has rushed for 200 or more yards in a game five times this season, including a then-NCAA single-game record 408 on November 15 versus Nebraska, which earned him Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week honors.
MARCUS MARIOTA – OREGON – Junior – Quarterback – The nation’s leader in pass efficiency (190.2), Marcus Mariota has led the high-scoring Ducks (11-1) to a berth in the Pac-12 Championship Game this weekend. For the season, Mariota has completed 229-of-334 passes (68.6%) and has thrown for 36 touchdowns and just two interceptions for an offensive unit that averages 45.9 points per game (5th nationally). He has thrown for 300 or more yards six times, including a season high 367 (on 19-of-25 passing) on November 29 versus Oregon State. Mariota has also rushed for 11 touchdowns.
SCOOBY WRIGHT III – ARIZONA – Sophomore – Linebacker – The nation’s leader in tackles for losses (27.0), Scooby Wright III has recorded 139 total tackles (83 solo) for the 10-2 Wildcats, who have earned a berth in the Pac-12 Championship Game this weekend. Wright III has recorded 10 or more tackles in a game eight times this season, including a season-high 19 on November 1 versus UCLA. Wright III has recorded 14 sacks – good for second in the nation – and has forced a nation-leading six fumbles. He has been a two-time Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week recipient (Oct. 26 and Nov. 30).