Another year on the gridiron means another year our beloved football boys are getting noticed for some hardware that’s handed out at the end of the season.
The name that’s in the mouths of decision makers everywhere, predictably, is Daviyon Nixon. Just this week he was named a finalist or a semifinalist or a tertifinalist for a lot of awards.
Add @NagurskiTrophy Finalist to @DaviyonNixon's list.— Hawkeye Football (@HawkeyeFootball) December 9, 2020
He is one of five finalists and the only player in the country to be named a Nagurski finalist and a semifinalist for the Outland Trophy and Bednarik Award.
https://t.co/BFpmZNWink | #Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/2Wg3s3FP9t
The Nagurski is the big dog of defensive player awards, basically considered the Heisman since that award doesn’t really recognize that side of the ball anymore.
Still, the Nagurski favors defensive ends and linebackers, as the last interior defensive lineman to win the award was Aaron Donald in 2013.
Nixon is also a finalist for the Outland Trophy—given to the best interior lineman in college, on offense or defense—and the Bednarik Award, which is the same as the Nagurski but slightly less prestigious? I only say that because Pat Fitzgerald won the inaugural Nagurski awards in 1995 AND ‘96.
Nixon is the only defensive lineman on the six-man Outland semifinalist list. Not sure how Tyler Linderbaum was overlooked.
Highest-graded CFB centers:— PFF College (@PFF_College) December 10, 2020
1⃣ Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa - 91.7
2⃣ Landon Dickerson, Alabama - 90.4
3⃣ Drake Jackson, UK - 89.5
4⃣ Mike Novitsky, Buffalo - 89.0
5⃣ John Michael Schmitz, Minn - 87.4 pic.twitter.com/WEHWYUlY9a
No Iowa players have won the Bednarik or Nagurski, but there’s a handful of Hawkeye names on the Outland.
Cal Jones won it back in 1955, and Alex Karras got it two years later. Robert Gallery earned it in 2003, then Brandon Scherff in 2014.
Meanwhile, linemate Chauncey Golston is a Lott Impact finalist, which considers off-the-field acts like classroom performance in its administration.
Perhaps most important, our beautiful 22 year-old freshman from down under is a finalist for the Ray Guy, the most blessed trophy in all the land.
No Iowa punter has won the award since its inception in 2000, but it’s safe to say this would hold a special place in our hearts if Taylor can pull this off.
Finally, an Iowa coach is getting his number called!
Phil Parker, everyone’s favorite defensive coordinator, was one of 600 coaches named a finalist for the Broyles Award, given to the best assistant.
No Iowa coach has ever won the award, and this is the first time I can ever remember Parker even being a finalist.
When do you think they’ll make an award catered to quarterbacks who run the wildcat?