College Football Awards 2018: Results, Winners, Highlights and Twitter Reaction

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistDecember 7, 2018

Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray poses with the trophy after winning The Davey O'Brien Award for being the top quarterback in college football, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

Some of college football's major awards were handed out Thursday, with a number of honors, including the Maxwell Award for the nation's top player, up for grabs.

Below, we'll go through the winners and the reaction from the evening.


Maxwell Award (Player of the Year)

Winner: Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

The Alabama quarterback accumulated 3,353 passing yards, 37 touchdowns, four interceptions, 190 rushing yards and five scores in 2018, completing 67.7 percent of his passes. He led the Crimson Tide to a perfect record and a place in the College Football Playoff as the program seeks its sixth title in the past 10 years.  

In perhaps a preview of the Heisman Trophy, he beat out Oklahoma's Kyler Murray for the award, though Murray didn't leave home empty-handed. West Virginia's Will Grier was the other finalist. 


Chuck Bednarik Award (Defensive Player of the Year)

Winner: Josh Allen, Kentucky

Allen had impressive stats in 2018, registering 84 tackles (18.5 for loss), an SEC-leading 14 sacks and five forced fumbles. He was a key factor in Kentucky's excellent 9-3 season, providing the defensive boom to the sizzle provided on the offensive side by running back Benny Snell Jr.

He won the award amid a stacked group, with Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams and Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins finishing as runners-up. 


Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award

Winner: Kyler Murray, Oklahoma

Murray had a truly special 2018, throwing for 4,053 yards, 40 touchdowns and seven interceptions while also rushing for 892 yards and 11 scores, making him college football's most dangerous and well-rounded weapon this season.

He beat Tagovailoa and Washington State's Gardner Minshew II to the honor.


Paycom Jim Thorpe Award (Most Outstanding Defensive Back)

Winner: Deandre BakerGeorgia

Baker had a strong season for the Bulldogs, finishing the year with two interceptions, nine pass breakups, 39 tackles and a forced fumble.

Notre Dame's Julian Love and LSU's Greedy Williams were the other finalists. 


Doak Walker Award (Most Outstanding Running Back)

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Winner: Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin

Taylor had yet another epic season, rushing for 1,989 yards and 15 touchdowns while averaging a ridiculous 7.1 yards per carry. It was his second straight season with at least 1,900 rushing yards and 13 scores. 

He eclipsed 200 rushing yards in a game four times this season and had 321 rushing yards and three scores on 33 carries against Purdue, one of the performances of the season.

He also continued a proud tradition of Wisconsin running backs:

He topped Clemson's Travis Etienne and Memphis' Darrell Henderson for the award.


Biletnikoff Award (Most Outstanding Wide Receiver)

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Winner: Jerry Jeudy, Alabama

Alabama's explosive wideout provided Tagovailoa with a dangerous weapon in 2018, catching 59 passes for 1,103 yards and an SEC-leading 12 touchdowns. He averaged 18.7 yards per catch and gave the Crimson Tide a game-breaking threat, scoring two touchdowns in four different games.

Jeudy topped UMass' Andy Isabella and Oklahoma State's Tylan Wallace for the award.


Outland Trophy (Most Outstanding Interior Lineman)

Winner: Quinnen Williams, Alabama

No surprises here. The defensive dynamo is one of the most disruptive and talented players in the nation and is going to be a household name in the NFL for the next decade. He registered 66 tackles (18 tackles for loss), eight sacks and 11 hurries. Much like Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald has proved to be one of the most valuable players in the NFL, Williams did so in college.

He beat out his teammate, left tackle Jonah Williams, and Wilkins for the award.


Lou Groza Award (Most Outstanding Kicker)

Winner: Andre Szmyt, Syracuse

The redshirt freshman and walk-on led college football with 28 field goals in 2018 and accounted for 141 points, making him the first Orange kicker to score over 100 points in program history, per Andrea Adelson of

The other finalists for the award were Wyoming's Cooper Rothe and LSU's Cole Tracy. 


Ray Guy Award (Punter of the Year)

Winner: Braden Mann, Texas A&M

Mann was remarkable in 2018, leading the nation by averaging 51.2 yards per punt, with a long of 82 yards. He beat out Cincinnati's James Smith and Utah's Mitch Wishnowsky, who won the award in 2016 and has been a finalist three times. 


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