LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston picked up one major award that could be the precursor to claiming college football’s biggest prize — the Heisman Trophy.
Winston won the Davey O’Brien Award on Thursday night at the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards at Disney World.
The Florida State star beat fellow finalists Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M and AJ McCarron of Alabama for the honor as the top quarterback in the country. Winston becomes just the second redshirt freshman to win the award — Manziel won it in 2012.
The win could be the first of many for Winston, who is one of six finalists for the Heisman Trophy. The Heisman will be presented Saturday in New York. Six of the past seven Davey O’Brien Award winners have gone on to win the Heisman and Winston is the overwhelming favorite.
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Earlier in the evening, Winston took home another honor: the Walter Camp Player of the Year award.
Winston came up short of a clean sweep, with Alabama’s McCarron claiming the Maxwell Award honoring the nation’s top college football player. McCarron said he was shocked he won the award.
Boston College’s Andre Williams won the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation’s top running back.
A Heisman Trophy finalist as well, Williams became the first running back at the Football Bowl Subdivision level since 2008 to rush for 2,000 yards. He finished with 2,102 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Williams was selected over fellow finalists Bishop Sankey of Washington and Ka’Deem Carey of Arizona.
Oregon State junior Brandin Cooks won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s most outstanding wide receiver.
He becomes the second winner from Oregon State, joining Mike Hass from 2005.
Cooks finished the season with 120 catches for 1,670 yards and 13 touchdowns.
McCarron said Alabama coach Nick Saban told him he’s staying in Tuscaloosa.
“I messed with Coach, (saying) he’s getting too old to start up again somewhere else,” McCarron told ESPN. “He told me he’s not leaving. … I think he’ll be at the University of Alabama for a little while.”
Speculation has been rampant because Texas reportedly has reached out to Saban’s representatives in the past.
• Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald won the Outland Trophy, given to the nation’s top interior lineman. He also won the Chuck Bednarik Award as the defensive player of the year in college football.
• Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard won the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation’s best defensive back.
• Florida State freshman Roberto Aguayo won the Lou Groza Award as the nation’s best kicker.
• Memphis senior Tom Hornsey was chosen the winner of the Ray Guy Award as the best punter.
• Boise State and new coach Bryan Harsin agreed to terms of a five-year contract worth $6.5 million. The deal also provides Harsin with $1.75 million to satisfy the buyout clause in his contract with Arkansas State.
• Texas coach Mack Brown declined to say whether the Alamo Bowl will be his final game amid intense speculation after another disappointing season. Brown is expected to meet with Texas president Bill Powers and athletic director Steve Patterson on Friday to discuss his future.
• Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin signed a six-year contract extension worth $5 million a year after the Texas A&M System Board of Regents unanimously approved the deal. It runs through 2019.
• Weber State has chosen Utah assistant Jay Hill as its new coach.