New Haven, Conn. – The Walter Camp Football Foundation has announced the names of fifteen “Players to Watch” for its 2018 Player of the Year award, the fourth-oldest college football award in the nation.
“It’s been another exciting college football season with many teams and players still in the hunt for national recognition,” Foundation president Michael Madera said. “We’ve identified some outstanding players and we know the final weeks of the regular season should be even more thrilling.”
Players from the top six teams in the most recent College Football Playoff rankings are on the list, including quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and defensive lineman Quinnen Williams from top-ranked Alabama (10-0). Running back Travis Etienne from second-ranked Clemson (10-0) are on the watch list along with defensive end Jerry Tillery from third-ranked Notre Dame (10-0) and linebacker Devin Bush from fourth-ranked Michigan (9-1). Defensive back Deandre Baker from fifth-ranked Georgia (9-1) and quarterback Kyler Murray (Oklahoma) are on the semifinalist watch list.
The 15-player watch list includes seven quarterbacks, three running backs and five defensive players. Fourteen different schools and seven conferences are represented on the list.
The Walter Camp Player of the Year is voted on by the 130 Football Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors. A list of five finalists will be announced on Wednesday, November 28, and the winner broadcast live on ESPN SportsCenter on Thursday, December 6. The 2018 Player of the Year will be recognized along with the Walter Camp All-America team at the Foundation’s national awards dinner on Saturday, January 12, 2019 at Yale University’s Lanman Center.
The 2017 Walter Camp Player of the Year was former University of Oklahoma and current Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.
2018 Walter Camp Player of the Year Semifinalists
Josh Allen, Senior, Linebacker, Kentucky
Deandre Baker, Senior, Defensive Back, Georgia
Devin Bush, Junior, Linebacker, Michigan
Travis Etienne, Sophomore, Running Back, Clemson
Will Grier, Senior, Quarterback, West Virginia
Dwayne Haskins, Junior, Quarterback, Ohio State
Darrell Henderson, Junior, Running Back, Memphis
Trace McSorley, Senior, Quarterback, Penn State
McKenzie Milton, Junior, Quarterback, UCF
Gardner Minshew, Senior, Quarterback, Washington State
Kyler Murray, Junior, Quarterback, Oklahoma
Tua Tagovailoa, Sophomore, Quarterback, Alabama
Jonathan Taylor, Sophomore, Running Back, Wisconsin
Jerry Tillery, Senior, Defensive Tackle, Notre Dame
Quinnen Williams, Sophomore, Nose Guard, Alabama
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