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Winston Wins Walter Camp Award, ACC Players Grab Additional Honors

On Thursday night, it was college football’s awards night before the big one on Saturday. The ACC had a good showing and it all started with Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston.

Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston

Seen as the heavy favorite for the Heisman (1/150), Winston first snagged the Walter Camp Player of the Year award. This is for the national player of the year and according to AP Sports, this usually isn’t the same winner as the Heisman (only the last one of six winners) but as we imagine, this could change this year.

In 2010, quarterback Cam Newton was the last player to win both.

Winston went home with more hardware than this as he also won the Davey O’Brien Award, which is awarded to the nation’s top quarterback. He lost out to Alabama’s A.J. McCarron for the Maxwell Award for the college player of the year.

Looking ahead to Saturday evening’s Heisman ceremony, many assume Winston is the runaway favorite with the greatest question of how big will he win. Will it be a historic number?

From the HeismanPundit.com’s final straw poll on Dec. 9, Winston was the resounding leader.

Total Points (first place votes in parentheses)

1 Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State  23 (7)

2. Jordan Lynch, QB, Northern Illinois 8 (2)

3. (tie) Tre Mason, RB, Auburn  7 (1)

Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M  7

5. AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama  6

6. (tie) Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon  2

Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State  2

8. (tie) Andre Williams, RB, Boston College  1

Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor 1

Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville  1

Shayne Skov, LB, Stanford  1

Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh 1

Should Winston win the Heisman, he’ll set a high standard to beat if a third redshirt freshman get another win someday. He had an amazing season as he set NCAA records (for a freshman) with passing yards (3,820) and passing touchdowns (38). His 190.06 passer rating fell short of Russell Wilson’s (Wisconsin) all-time efficiency number at 191.78.

According to NBC Sports, if Winston does win the Heisman, he’ll accomplish this with the highest passer rating in the award’s history. He’ll also be the third Florida State player to do so (Chris Weinke in 2000 was the last) and the youngest one, moving past Alabama’s Mark Ingram at 14 days.

But will Winston win it all by leading his team as the National Championship winner? Vegas has this as a yes (-8.5, 105 o/u).

Fortunately for Winston, he has a good kicker, Roberto Aguayo, and on Thursday, his good play from the season was acknowledged as he won the Lou Groza Award. This is for the country’s top kicker and it came from Aguayo outscoring opponents with his 19 for 20 field goal attempts and his perfect 90 PAT attempts.

Aguayo is the third Seminole kicker to win this.

And because things happen in threes, Bryan Stork was the third Seminole to go home a winner on Thursday. He won the Rimington Award, a nod to the nation’s top college center.

Andre Williams

Andre Williams

Florida State players were not the only ACC winners on Thursday. Other ones included Boston College’s running back Andre Williams. He won the Doak Walker Award, which goes to the nation’s top running back. He’l be in New York for the Heisman award on Saturday after he amassed 2,102 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns this season.

Boston College will play Arizona in the AdvoCare 100 Bowl. Arizona gets the win (-7.5, 57 o/u).

Rounding out the ACC, Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald won the Chuck Bednarik Award. This goes to the nation’s top defensive player. Earlier in the week, Donald also won the Lombardi, Nagurski and Outland awards. Many have wondered why he was not a Heisman finalist.

For the season, Donald was the Division 1-A leader for tackles for loss (26.5 tackles) along with 10 sacks. In five games, he had three or greater tackles for loss, including six on Nov. 2 versus Georgia Tech.

Pitt will play Bowling Green in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl but will not get the win (-5.5, 50 o/u).

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