LWOS Mid-Season CFB Awards

As the Week 7 festivities come to an end, the college football season has come to its midpoint. The top teams in the country are looking at what they need to do to make the College Football Playoffs while others are looking at how to even make a bowl appearance. From a player’s standpoint, they may be looking to see how they can stand out among the crowd to raise their draft stock. Our LWOS College Football Staff decided to vote on who we thought deserved awards for their individual efforts. Our staff voted on 13 categories ranging from the Best College Football Player to the Most Inspirational Player. Here are the LWOS Mid-Season Awards results.

LWOS Mid-Season Awards

Best Player in College Football: Lamar Jackson, Louisville

Choices: Lamar Jackson, Louisville; J.T. Barrett, Ohio State; Donnel Pumphrey, San Diego State; Jabrill Peppers, Michigan; Christian McCaffrey, Stanford

There isn’t much that Lamar Jackson hasn’t done this season for Louisville. Jackson already has 30 combined touchdowns through six games and 2,638 yards. As a sophomore, Jackson has led Louisville to 7th in the Top 25 despite a loss to Clemson. Louisville fans will get to look forward to seeing Jackson on the field at least one more season before he will likely go to the NFL Draft.
Share | Charts

Best QB in College Football: Lamar Jackson, Louisville

Choices: Lamar Jackson, Louisville; J.T. Barrett, Ohio State; Patrick Mahomes II, Texas Tech; Davis Webb, California; Kenny Hill TCU

To no one’s surprise, Jackson also won the award for Best Quarterback in College Football. Jackson’s 1,806 yards through six games almost matches his 2015 performance of 1,840 yards. The sophomore quarterback has completed almost 60% of his passes for an average of 9.2 yards per attempt. Surprisingly, the only other quarterback to get votes was J.T. Barrett of Ohio State. It will likely remain a two-way race between these two for the end-of-season awards as well at this pace.
Share | Charts

Best RB in College Football: Dalvin Cook, FSU

Choices: James Conner, Pittsburgh; Christian McCaffrey, Stanford; Donnel Pumphrey, San Diego State; Jamaal Williams, BYU; Dalvin Cook, FSU

Junior Dalvin Cook took what was a promising sophomore year and has been duplicating it for his junior season. Cook currently has 785 yards and seven touchdowns through seven games and has 20 receptions. His ability to escape tacklers and break into open space is what sets him apart from every other back on this list. Cook is currently riding a four-game streak with over 115 yards in each game and a long run of over 14 yards in each game this season. Every other back on this list has had struggles throughout the season, while Cook has been able to become one of the most reliable backs in the country.
Share | Charts

Best WR in College Football: Ryan Switzer, UNC

Choices: Amba Etta-Tawa, Syracuse; Trent Taylor, Louisiana Tech; Chad Hansen, California; Zay Jones, ECU; Ryan Switzer, UNC

At only 5’10” and 178 lbs., Ryan Switzer has been able to prove everyone wrong. He already has accounted for 49 receptions and 589 yards in seven games, almost identical to his stats throughout all last season.
Share | Charts

Best TE in College Football: Jake Butt, Michigan

Choices: Evan Engram, Ole Miss; Gerald Everett, South Alabama; Adam Breneman, UMass; Hayden Hurst, South Carolina; Jake Butt; Michigan

Last season’s Big Ten Tight End of the Year, Jake Butt, has started 2016 off with a great start. Butt currently has 23 receptions for 270 yards and three touchdowns. This puts him at second in each category on the team. Michigan’s passing offense is currently 53rd in the country. His main competition for the award was Evan Engram from Ole Miss, who received 35.7% of the vote.
Share | Charts

Best Defensive Player in College Football: Jabrill Peppers, Michigan

Choices: Arden Key, LSU; Ejuan Price, Pittsburgh; Micah Kiser, Virginia; Jabrill Peppers, Michigan; Marshon Lattimore; Ohio State

In the off-season, very bold comments came out of Michigan stating that Jabrill Peppers would play 100 snaps every game. The media began to speculate just how effective Peppers could be playing in three different ways, but he put them to rest. He has been so good, that he has won defensive player of the first half of the season. Peppers currently has 35 tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble. The junior linebacker will likely need to continue to step up as Michigan starts their more important conference schedule.
Share | Charts

Best Defensive Lineman in College Football: Myles Garrett, Texas A&M

Choices: Arden Key, LSU; Ejuan Price, Pittsburgh; Tanoh Kpassagnon, Villanova; DeMarcus Walker, FSU; Myles Garrett, Texas A&M

Through six games, Myles Garrett has been electric for Texas A&M. Garrett currently has 14 tackles, six for losses, and four sacks. Despite being double teamed most of the season, Garrett has still been able to hit the quarterback six times. Last year, Garrett was able to sack the quarterback 12.5 times and has shown the same effort this season so far. At the pace Garrett is going, he may be able to find himself in the Top 5 All-time at Texas A&M in sacks. He currently has 28 sacks in his two and a half year career and would only need five more to tie Von Miller’s 33 sacks.
Share | Charts

Best Linebacker in College Football: T.J. Watt, Wisconsin

Choices: Ryan Watson, Air Force; Steven Taylor, Houston;  T.J. Watt, Wisconsin; Rodney Butler, New Mexico State; Micah Kiser, Virginia

The Watt family certainly has a way with producing elite defenseman. The brother of J.J. Watt, T.J. Watt is filling in his brother’s footsteps nicely through Wisconsin’s first six games. Watt currently has 34 tackles with 7.5 for losses. He has also accounted for 5.5 sacks this season. His most notable game this season was against Michigan State when the junior linebacker accounted for six tackles including 2.5 sacks. Watt also deflected a pass in this game. The younger Watt is showing no signs of slowing down and will look to continue this pace to help put Wisconsin in a New Year’s Day bowl game.
Share | Charts

Best Defensive Back in College Football: Malik Hooker, Ohio State

Choices: Malik Hooker, Ohio State; Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State; Orion Stewart, Baylor; Desmond King, Iowa; Channing Stribling, Michigan

The Big Ten has produced some elite talent in the secondary this season, including last season’s Jim Thorpe Award winner, Desmond King. However, a new defensive back has taken the title as of now this season. Malik Hooker, a freshman safety for Ohio State, has been lights out so far this season. Hooker has managed to pick off four passes already this season and one returned for a touchdown. Hooker could have had two touchdowns if it weren’t for an illegal block that brought the ball back. Marshon Lattimore has also made an impact this season, picking off three passes and returning one for a touchdown.
Share | Charts

Best Kicker/Punter in College Football: Zane Gonzalez, Arizona State

Choices: Zane Gonzalez, Arizona State; Daniel Carlson, Auburn; Mitch Wishnowsky, Utah; Cameron Johnston, Ohio State; Elliott Fry, South Carolina

The senior kicker has been just about all but perfect on the season. Zane Gonzalez has hit 19/20 field goals and 26/26 extra points. His one miss came from 53 yards out, where he is 6/7 from 50+.
Share | Charts

Best Coach in College Football: Jim Harbaugh, Michigan

Choices: Bobby Petrino, Louisville; Tom Herman, Houston; Jim Harbaugh, Michigan; P.J. Fleck, Western Michigan; Mike MacIntyre, Colorado

Head Coach Jim Harbaugh has really helped Michigan turn around in the past season and a half. Since Harbaugh arrived, the Wolverines are 16-3. In the 19 games before Harbaugh arrived, Michigan was 6-13. His Power O attack has helped the Michigan rush attack excel the past season and a half. Later this season, Harbaugh will have a rematch with Urban Meyer and will look to even the score at one in their head-to-head series in the Big Ten.
Share | Charts

Most Versatile Player in College Football: Jabrill Peppers, Michigan

Choices: Christian McCaffrey, Stanford; Curtis Samuel, Ohio State; Jabrill Peppers, Michigan; Lamar Jackson, Louisville; Kyle Hicks, TCU

As mentioned earlier, there were rumors that Jabrill Peppers would play 100 snaps per game in three different ways. His ability to play on special teams, offense, and defense is what sets him apart from other players on this list. He currently has 35 tackles, 344 return yards, 98 rushing yards, and three touchdowns. Jim Harbaugh will likely continue to use Peppers to add diversity to their offense as they approach the difficult part of their conference schedule.
Share | Charts

Most Inspirational Player/Team in College Football: James Conner, Pittsburgh

Choices: James Conner, Pittsburgh; Mitchell Meyers, Iowa State; Pharaoh Brown, Oregon

After one of the most inspirational stories to date in college football, James Conner was able to beat Hodgkin’s lymphoma in the off-season. In 2014, Conner ran for 1,765 yards and is on his way to another great season this year. Through seven games, Conner has rushed for 441 yards and has five touchdowns. The Pittsburgh Panthers are currently 5-2 and looking to re-enter the Top 25. The Panthers have three ranked games out of their next five which should allow them the chance to.
Share | Charts

These awards were voted upon in 13 different categories by the LWOS College Football Staff.