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Every CFB award but the you-know-what will be handed out tonight (7 ET, ESPN). Who should win? Who will win? es.pn/2goPe5K

Andrea Adelson ESPN Staff Writer 

There was a special message painted on Deshaun Watson's high school football field in Gainesville, Ga.

Max Olson ESPN Staff Writer 

The five finalists for The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award, which honors the top offensive player from the state of Texas: Texas RB D'Onta Foreman, Alabama QB Jalen Hurts, Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes II and the Oklahoma duo of QB Baker Mayfield and WR Dede Westbrook.

Mark Schlabach ESPN Senior Writer 

Western Michigan quarterback Zachary Terrell, winner of the Campbell Trophy (the academic Heisman, said Broncos coach P.J. Fleck included the Cotton Bowl among his preseason goals on Jan. 7. "I thought he was crazy," Terrell said. "Three years ago, we were 1-11 and now we're 13-0."

Andrea Adelson ESPN Staff Writer 

Pittsburgh running back James Conner tried out virtual reality at the College Football Hall of Fame. Viewers are able to see a simulation of entrances at various college football stadiums. Conner virtually traveled to the Rose Bowl.

Mark Schlabach ESPN Senior Writer 

While Florida State tailback Dalvin Cook said he's disappointed he wasn't among the Heisman Trophy finalists invited to New York next weekend, he said it will only motivate him more to play well against No. 6 Michigan in the Capital One Orange Bowl. "It just shows I've got a lot more work to do in this next game to show people I should have been in New York."

Mark Schlabach ESPN Senior Writer 

Alabama offensive tackle Cam Robinson called offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin the "best offensive mind" he's ever been around. If Kiffin is named Houston's new coach, Robinson "wished him the best of luck and he'll do well."

Adam Rittenberg ESPN Staff Writer 

Nevada is hiring Arizona State wide receivers coach Jay Norvell as its coach, sources tell ESPN. Norvell interviewed earlier Wednesday. FootballScoop.com first reported the hiring. Norvell has been an offensive coordinator at Nebraska, UCLA, Oklahoma and Texas, but this is his first head-coaching job.

Tom VanHaaren ESPN Staff Writer 

Michigan is slated to have a big recruiting weekend with a ton of top prospects visiting Ann Arbor. The weekend started early, though, as ESPN 300 defensive back Ambry Thomas announced his commitment to the Wolverines. The No. 227 ranked prospect is taking a visit to Michigan this weekend and had been deciding between the Wolverines and Michigan State. Now as a commitment, Thomas will be joined on the trip by ESPN 300 receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones, running back Najee Harris as well as some of the other committed prospects.

Edward Aschoff ESPN Staff Writer 

ECU WR Zay Jones on catching a FBS single-season record 158 passes this season: "I expect to dominate every game. I never go into a game thinking I'm not going to catch under 10 balls. That's just not the person I am, I want as many as possible. Some might see it as selfish, but that's just the competitor in me. I like the pressure to be on me. I want to be the go-to guy in the red zone on fourth down. I want it on my shoulders."

Edward Aschoff ESPN Staff Writer 

Michigan LB Jabrill Peppers says he isn't focused on any sort of NFL talk yet. Hasn't made a decision one way or the other about staying or going after this season. "We have one more game and that's what my main concern is. ... I'm not every thinking about none of that. We have a big game against Florida State. ... That's been our main focus."

Edward Aschoff ESPN Staff Writer 

Deshaun Watson said he grew up watching Urban Meyer when he was the head coach at Florida and wanted to play for him when he was at Florida. He still has a picture of Meyer and Tim Tebow and still considers Meyer one of his favorite coaches. "Even my freshman year (of high school) when I went to visit I was like 'This is where I'm going. I'm playing for Urban Meyer (at Florida).'" Added that Clemson "stole" him from Meyer a few years later.

Edward Aschoff ESPN Staff Writer 

Clemson QB Deshaun Watson on if he thinks he should win the Heisman: "Of course. I think everyone should have that mindset that they deserve to win it." But here's his case for why he should win the Heisman over Louisville QB Lamar Jackson: "I really don't get too big into all that. Whoever wins it really deserves it. At the end of the day, we both did some great things for our teams."

Edward Aschoff ESPN Staff Writer 

Florida State RB Dalvin Cook said he's honored to be up for the Doak Walker Award this season, but doesn't feel like he was snubbed for the award last year or a spot as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy this year. "To get [nominated] for the awards, it shows you have to do the dirty work to be successful. It's not [frustrating]. I knew my time would come and I just had to keep working hard."

Edward Aschoff ESPN Staff Writer 

Even though he's projected as a first-round pick, Alabama OT Cam Robinson said he hasn't made a decision on the NFL one way or the other. "I'm just focused on the playoffs and the next game coming up [against Washington]. I feel like when I start worrying about that too much, it starts taking away the focus that I need to have on the game that we have coming up."

Edward Aschoff ESPN Staff Writer 

Allen on Alabama losing QBs Cooper Bateman and David Cornwell to transfer: "You have to do what's best for you at the end of the day. I'm not surprised. I understand that they are juniors and we have a freshman playing and they don't feel like they're gonna get the opportunity that they want so they have to do what's best for them and I wish them the best of luck. I have no hard feelings toward them."

Edward Aschoff ESPN Staff Writer 

Alabama DE Jonathan Allen's reaction to Jabrill Peppers being a Heisman Trophy finalist over him: "I hope Jabrill Peppers wins. Represent for the defense. That's what I told him. I'm not bothered by it. It's fine because I won the Nagurski Trophy. I'm perfectly fine with that. I won't lose any sleep over that.

Edward Aschoff ESPN Staff Writer 

Foreman said he met with new Texas coach Tom Herman, who tried to convince him to stay in school, but there was no turning back for Foreman after his 2,000-yard rushing season. "I really feel like Herman's a great guy. We had a great conversation and he had a great pitch, but with the carries I got this season, I felt it was time for me to go to the NFL and try to get paid for some of them."

Edward Aschoff ESPN Staff Writer 

Texas RB D'Onta Foreman said that the firing of Charlie Strong didn't have a major impact on his decision to turn pro, but it was the final factor in his decision. "Once I talked to my parents, I pretty much knew what I was going to do. Whether he would have left or stayed, I probably still would have gone to the NFL anyway. With him leaving, it definitely put the top on it and [told him] 'Yeah, it's definitely time for me to leave.'"