Friday, July 19, 2013
The Walter Camp Player of the Year Watch List was released Friday, and the region was well represented with five players getting the call.
Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray and tailback Todd Gurley, South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, and Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd and receiver Sammy Watkins made the 50 player list.
Murray, a native of Tampa, Fla., is one of the nation's elite at his position. In 2012, Murray ranked second in the nation in passing efficiency at 174.82. He became the first Southeastern Conference quarterback in history to have three consecutive 3,000-yard passing seasons last year.
In his 28 wins as a starter, he has 74 touchdowns to just 16 interceptions. Murray is the SEC's leading active player in total offensive yards (10,301), completions (696), touchdown responsibility (105), touchdown passes (95) and passing yards (10,091).
Gurley, a native of Tarboro, N.C., was a 2012 Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) Freshman All-American after becoming the 12th Bulldog to rush for 1,000 yards in a season and the first since Knowshon Moreno in 2008. Gurley went for 1,385 yards, which ranks sixth in school history for a single season, and 17 touchdowns (a UGA freshman record) on 222 carries (6.2/carry).
Only Gurley and Bulldog legend Herschel Walker have tallied 1,000-yard seasons in their true freshman seasons. Gurley finished 2012 with nine games where he went for at least 100 yards rushing, which ranks third in school history for a season.
Herschel Walker was named the 1982 Walter Camp Player of the Year. Walker also won the Heisman Trophy that year.
Clowney, a 6-6, 274-pound junior defensive end, was a Walter Camp first team All-American a year ago. The SEC's Defensive Player of the Year finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy balloting after recording 54 tackles, including a school record 23.5 tackles for loss and a school record 13.0 quarterback sacks.
He was named to the preseason first team All-SEC squad on Thursday and has been listed on several national preseason “watch lists” including the Maxwell, Bednarik, Rotary Lombardi and Nagurski awards.
Boyd and Watkins are two of the four ACC players on the list and are joined by Logan Thomas, quarterback of Virginia Tech and Duke Johnson, a running back from Miami (FL).
Boyd was the ACC Player of the Year in 2012 when he led Clemson an 11-2 record and a top 10 final national ranking according to USA Today. He was a first-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association.
Watkins is a two-time All-American, including 2012 when he was selected by College & Pro Football Weekly. He was a first-team AP All-American as an all-purpose player in 2011, just the fourth true freshman to be named first-team All-American by AP as a position player.
The nation’s fourth-oldest individual college football accolade will narrow its watch list to 10 semifinalists in mid-November. The 2013 Walter Camp Player of the Year recipient, which is voted on by the 125 NCAA Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors, will be announced live on ESPN SportsCenter on December 12.
The winner will then receive his trophy at the Foundation’s annual national awards banquet on January 11, 2014 at the Yale University Commons in New Haven.
Walter Camp, “The Father of American football,” first selected an All-America team in 1889. Camp – a former Yale University athlete and football coach – is also credited with developing play from scrimmage, set plays, the numerical assessment of goals and tries and the restriction of play to eleven men per side. The Walter Camp Football Foundation (www.waltercamp.org) – a New Haven-based all-volunteer group – was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and to continue the tradition of selecting annually an All-America team.