One of the most chaotic college football seasons comes to an end next week, with powerhouses Ohio State and Alabama facing off in the national title game on Monday, Jan. 11.
While the 2020 season was filled with COVID-19 outbreaks, subsequent postponements and cancellations, abbreviated schedules and opt-outs, there were plenty of memorable moments and players that showcased their talents this year.
The Home Depot College Football Awards celebrated these individuals on Thursday night with Alabama headlining the award winners, taking home seven individual awards.
Here is a breakdown of each winner for the main awards.
- Chuck Bednarik Award (college defensive player of the year): Tulsa linebacker Zaven Collins, who tallied 54 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, four sacks, four interceptions, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one safety in eight games. The other finalists included Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II.
- Biletnikoff Award (outstanding receiver): Alabama’s Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith, who currently leads the FBS with 1,641 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns on 105 catches. The other finalists included Ole Miss’ Elijah Moore and Florida’s Kyle Pitts.
- Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award (nation’s outstanding place-kicker): Miami’s Jose Borregales, who was 20-for-22 on field goal attempts (including 9-for-11 on field goals of 40 yards or longer). The other finalists included BYU’s Jake Oldroyd and Alabama’s Will Reichard.
- Ray Guy Award (college punter of the year): Georgia Tech’s Pressley Harvin III, who set Georgia Tech and Atlantic Coast Conference records with a 48.0-yard punting average in 2020. The other finalists included Georgia’s Jake Camarda and Miami’s Lou Hedley.
- Maxwell Award (college player of the year): Alabama’s DeVonta Smith—2020 Heisman Trophy winner. The other finalists included Alabama quarterback Mac Jones, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
- Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award (nation’s best quarterback): Alabama’s Mac Jones, who is the first Crimson Tide QB to surpass 4,000 passing yards in a season. He leads the FBS with a 77% completion rate, 11.3 yards per attempt and 203.03 quarterback rating. The other finalists included Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and Florida’s Kyle Trask.
- Outland Trophy (nation’s most outstanding interior lineman): Alabama OT Alex Leatherwood, who played 688 snaps during the 2020 season and has allowed only two sacks, missed just two assignments and committed just two penalties. The other finalists included Notre Dame OT Liam Eichenberg and Iowa DT Daviyon Nixon.
- Paycom Jim Thorpe Award (nation’s best defensive back): TCU safety Trevon Moehrig, who recorded 47 tackles, 11 PBUs and two interceptions in 2020. The other finalists included UCF safety Richie Grant and Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II.
- Doak Walker Award (nation’s premier running back): Alabama’s Najee Harris, who holds multiple all-time career records for the Crimson Tide (including total touchdowns, rushing scores and career rushing yards). Prior to the Rose Bowl, Harris had scored 27 total touchdowns (24 rushing) and 1,578 total yards (1,262 rushing). The other finalists included Clemson’s Travis Etienne and Iowa State’s Breece Hall.
- John Mackey Award (outstanding tight end): Florida’s Kyle Pitts, who finished with 43 receptions for 770 yards with 12 touchdowns. He didn’t drop a pass in 65 targets, and 39 of his catches went for first downs. The other finalists included Iowa State’s Charlie Kolar and Texas A&M’s Jalen Wydermyer.
- Rimington Trophy (the most outstanding center): Alabama’s Landon Dickerson, who named unanimous first team All-American, earned All-SEC honors from both the Associated Press and league coaches and was named the co-recipient of the SEC Jacobs Blocking Trophy with teammate Alex Leatherwood. The other finalists included Iowa’s Tyler Linderbaum and Ohio State’s Josh Myers.
- Walter Camp Award (National Player of Year): Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith. Other finalists included quarterbacks Mac Jones (Alabama), Trevor Lawrence (Clemson) and Kyle Trask (Florida), and running back Najee Harris (Alabama).