Jordan Poyer highlights Beaver award favorites
After the 2012 season they might be needing some room in the trophy cases.
It’s just July and already three different Beavers are on a combined five different watch lists. Not too shabby.
Here’s a breakdown of who those players are, what the awards are and their chances.
Award: Lombardi Award
The Lombardi Award is presented to the top lineman in college football. Depending on a team’s offensive or defensive scheme, the award can go to any offensive lineman, defensive lineman, tight end or linebacker. Notable past winners include Julius Peppers, Terrell Suggs and Ndamukong Suh. A player from Oregon State has never won the award.
Hot off a stellar freshman season, Scott Crichton will look to add to his list of postseason honors. Last season, the Beavers defensive end was an All-American freshman accumulating six sacks, six forced fumbles and 15 tackles for loss.
The Pac-12 is well represented on the watch list with such players as Dion Jordan (UO), Star Lotulelei (Utah), Hayes Pullard (USC) and Chase Thomas (Stanford).
This is a really diverse award with a lot of great players in the running. I expect Crichton to have another great season, but he needs more seasoning before bringing in an award with this much caliber.
Award: Biletnikoff Award
Each year, the Biletnikoff Award goes to the top receiver in college football. The winner is selected by a committee of national media members. Michael Crabtree and Justin Blackmon—the only two players to win the award twice—highlight the group of recent winners. Mike Hass took the award home for the Beavers in 2005.
Markus Wheaton has always been a great receiver, but never underestimate the effects of being paired with a competent QB. That was one of many factors that helped Wheaton have a 2011 in which he caught 73 passes for 986 yards and one touchdown.
Wheaton is a strong candidate, but he’ll have to beat out Robert Woods (USC), Tavon Austin (WVU) and Sammy Watkins (Clemson)—Watkins isn’t on the watch list, but considered by many to be the top wideout in the country.
That’s a strong group of candidates, but Wheaton has the stuff to win. Being able to work with Mannion from the get-go should help, and he’ll easily surpass that elusive 1,000 yard threshold.
He’ll need a great season to win it, but as long as he stays on the field he’s got a chance.
Award: Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Jim Thorpe Award, Lott Trophy
The Bronko Nagurski trophy is awarded to the best defensive player in the NCAA as judged by the FWAA. The Jim Thorpe award goes to college football’s best defensive back in any given season.
The Lott trophy is given to college football’s best defensive player, judged not just by performance, but also integrity and character.
No player has ever won all three in a season, though Roy Williams, Derrick Strait, Glenn Dorsey and Luke Kuechly have won two out of three in a single year.
No one from Oregon State has ever won one of these three awards.
Jordan Poyer enters the season as the Beaver’s favorite for defensive MVP, a legitimate NFL prospect and one of the top defensive backs in the country. Last season he accumulated season totals of 57 tackles, 12 pass deflections and four interceptions.
The hardest award to win would be the Bronko Nagurski trophy. It’s got a very long watch list with stiff competition such as Tyrann Mathieu (LSU) and Jarvis Jones (UGA).
Normally I would say Poyer has a great chance at the Lott Trophy, but his most recent offseason incidents beg to differ.
That leaves the Jim Thorpe award, which Poyer actually has a great shot at.
He’s arguably the best cover corner in the NCAA and seen by many as a top two defensive back in the 2013 draft class. The LSU duo of Mathieu and Eric Reid represent other favorites for the award.
My prediction is Poyer takes at least one of these awards home, with his best shot being at the Jim Thorpe award.