College Football Awards 2014: Mariota, Wright, Hackett earn honors
Another night, another suite of big time honors for the cream of the crop in Pac-12 football.
Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota brought in an enormous haul at Thursday night's Home Depot College Football Awards ceremony in Orlando, winning both the Maxwell Award as the national player of the year and the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award.
Arizona's Scooby Wright and Utah's Tom Hackett joined Mariota as award winners Thursday. Wright, one of America's most decorated defensive players, added the 2014 Chuck Bednarik Award as the nation's top defensive player of the year to his trophy case.
Wright, who joins USC's Rey Maualuga as the only Pac-12 winners of the Bednarik, has already won the Lombardi and Nagurski Awards for his exploits this season.
Hackett, the star Utah punter who averaged 47 yards per punt this season, became the first Pac-12 player to win the Ray Guy Award as the nation's top punter.
Oregon's Ifo Ekpre-Olomu was a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back, an award that went to Louisville's Gerod Holliman. His teammate, center Hroniss Grasu, was a runner-up for the Rimington Award as the nation's top center.
If a recent trend holds, Mariota's next big honor will come Saturday - the last four Davey O'Brien winners - Jameis Winston, Johnny Manziel, Robert Griffin III and Cam Newton - have gone on to win the Heisman Trophy in the same year. He's also the first Pac-12 O'Brien winner since Troy Aikman earned the honor in 1988.
Before the ceremony, Mariota was also named the winner of the 2014 Walter Camp Foundation Player of the Year award. The winner of the Heisman Trophy will be revealed Saturday night in New York City.