The barrage of college football award watch lists continued this week with the announcement of Kirk Ferentz being named to the Dodd Trophy watch list. The Dodd Trophy is awarded to the Division I coach of the year by the Peach Bowl and is named after former longtime Georgia Tech coach Bobby Dodd, not Dennis Dodd, who wrote arguably the worst article in the history of sports journalism. An article that CBS Sports nuked from their website but is preserved in the beautiful cache that is the Wayback Machine. No seriously go read that piece of garbage. Isn't it amazing?
Coach Ferentz is the current holder of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award.
Last week it was somewhat implied that senior cornerback Desmond King wouldn't be considered for the Jim Thorpe Award because he was the current holder but lo and behold, he's been named to the Thorpe Award watch list, the Paul Hornung Award watch list and the Walter Camp Award watch list. The Thorpe Award is presented by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame to the best defensive back in college football and has been handed out since 1986. Previous winners include Bennie Blades, Charles Woodson, Roy Williams, Eric Berry, Patrick Peterson and Darqueze Dennard. While King is arguably the best cornerback, if not defensive back, in college football, it's worth noting that no player has ever won the award twice.
The Paul Hornung Award is presented by the Louisville Sports Commission to the player considered the most "versatile" of all NCAA players. To be eligible for the award you must play multiple positions, have a significant impact on special teams, play both sides of the ball or make a significant impact when it counts, as running back Paul Hornung did. An Iowa Hawkeye has not won the award, but it is only six years old.
The Walter Camp Award is presented by the Walter Camp Football Foundation to the college football player of the year. It has been awarded since 1967 and is named after influential college football figure Walter Camp, a man who has as many national championships with Yale as Iowa State has bowl victories. An Iowa player has never won the Walter Camp Award.
In addition to being named as a candidate for the Nagurski Trophy, junior linebacker Josey Jewell has been named to the Butkus Award watch list. The Butkus Award is named for former Chicago Bear Dick Butkus (did you know he only played eight years in the NFL?) and is awarded to the nation's best linebacker. Interesting factoid: there are Butkus Awards handed out to not only college players, but high school and pro football players as well. An Iowa player has never won the Butkus Award.
Senior quarterback C.J. Beathard, who was named to the Maxwell Trophy watch list last week, is also being considered for Walter Camp Award and the Davey O'Brien Award. The Davey O'Brien Foundation presents the O'Brien Award to the best quarterback in college football. O'Brien himself was a former quarterback for the TCU who originally backed up someone named Sammy Baugh. He excelled in many things, including spelling both "Dave" and "Brian" incorrectly.
Two Iowa Hawkeyes have won the O'Brien Award previously: Chuck Long in 1985 and Brad Banks in 2002. Here's a Brad Banks highlight that you should enjoy:
The big winner this week was senior running back LeShun Daniels, Jr., who was named to the watch lists for the Doak Walker Award and the Danny Wuerffel Trophy. The Doak Walker Award is presented to the nation's best college football running back by Southern Methodist University. Shonn Greene is Iowa's only previous winner. Oh, you'd like a Shonn Greene highlight?
RIP FRANK DUONG.
The fact that Daniels was named to the Doak Walker Award watch list may come as a surprise to some. After a solid 123 yard performance against Illinois State last season, Daniels suffered a high ankle sprain against Iowa State and his injury cycle started all over again. He couldn't play against Illinois and Northwestern and with the exception of the Minnesota game, where he pounded the Gophers into submission, he never looked healthy for the remainder of 2015. However, the graduation of Jordan Canzeri means that primary rushing duties are now in the hands of Daniels. It's his time now.
The Wuerffel Trophy is presented to the college football player who "best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement" by the All Sports Association of Fort Walton Beach. The trophy is relatively new, only being handed out since 2005. In case you're wondering what, exactly, Daniels does to be considered for this award, per Chad Leistikow: he volunteers for Camp Courageous, takes part in the University of Iowa Dance Marathon, visits children at UIHC and donates blood.
In short: LeShun Daniels is pretty awesome.