SportsNation: 2008 College Football Awards

The 2008 college football season is winding down, and it's time to hand out the hardware. From the Bednarik Award, given to the nation's best defensive player, to the Davey O'Brien Award, given to the nation's best quarterback, we have it covered.

Check out the nominees below, and see which players earned top marks from SportsNation voters. The results of the SportsNation voting will count as one official vote!

To find out the official winners, tune into The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards, (live on ESPN, Thursday, Dec. 11, at 7:30 p.m. ET). Chris Fowler, Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit will host the show which will originate from the Atlantic Dance Hall on Disney's Boardwalk at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Voting has closed. For more info, visit www.espncollegefootballawards.com.

Bednarik Award
(Outstanding Defensive Player)

The winner of this award will be in fine company -- Dan Connor (2007), Paul Posluszny (2006 and 2005), David Pollack (2004), Teddy Lehman (2003), EJ Henderson (2002), Julius Peppers (2001), Dan Morgan (2000) -- and all three candidates have one thing in common - putting a chill down the spine of offensive players everywhere.

James Laurinaitis, Ohio State, LB: 121 tackles, 4 sacks, 2 INT.
Rey Maualuga, USC, LB: 68 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 2 INT.
Aaron Maybin, Penn State, DE: 45 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 12 sacks.

SportsNation's pick: James Laurinaitis

Biletnikoff Award
(Wide Receiver)


The Biletnikoff trophy weighs 56 pounds, has won several national awards for design excellence, and is the largest of all the college football position awards. But something tells us these guys can handle it. Previous winners include Michael Crabtree (2007), Calvin Johnson (2006), Mike Hass (2005), Braylon Edwards (2004), Larry Fitzgerald (2003) and Charles Rogers (2002).

Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State: 74 REC, 1,313 YDS, 18 TD.
Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech: 93 REC, 1,135 YDS, 18 TD.
Jeremy Maclin, Missouri: 88 REC, 1,175 YDS, 11 TD.

SportsNation's pick: Michael Crabtree

Lou Groza Award (Kicker)

The Lou Groza Award is named for NFL Hall-of-Fame kicker Lou "The Toe" Groza, who played 21 seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Groza won four NFL championships with Cleveland and was named NFL Player of the Year in 1954. He is regarded as the first kicker to be truly considered an offensive weapon. In 2007 the award was won by Thomas Weber of Arizona State.

Josh Arauco, Arkansas State: 89.5 FG%, long of 44 YDS, 87 PTS.
Graham Gano, Florida State: 92.3 FG%, 5-7 from 50+, long of 53 YDS.
Louie Sakoda, Utah: 91.3 FG%, 2-3 from 50+, long of 53 YDS.

SportsNation's pick: Graham Gano

Ray Guy Award (Punter)

Candidates for the Ray Guy Award are evaluated on their overall statistics and contribution to their team with emphasis placed on the following categories: net average, percentage of total punts inside the 20, average return yardage and percentage not returned. In 2007 Durant Brooks of Georgia Tech won the award.

Matt Fodge, Oklahoma State: 31 punts for 1,366 YDS. Average: 44.1. Long 71.
Pat McAfee, West Virginia: 55 punts for 2,457 YDS. Average: 44.7. Long: 65.
Louie Sakoda, Utah: 50 punts for 2,086 YDS. Average. 41.7. Long: 81.

SportsNation's pick: Pat McAfee

Maxwell Award (Outstanding Player)

The Maxwell Award is given to the most outstanding player in college football. The following candidates led their respective teams through their astonishing play on the field and their leadership. The 2007 recipient of the Maxwell Award was Florida quarterback Tim Tebow.

Graham Harrell, Texas Tech, QB: 115.4 RAT, 4,747 YDS, 41 TD, 7 INT.
Colt McCoy, Texas, QB: 125.6 RAT, 77.6 CMP%, 32 TD, 7 INT.
Tim Tebow, Florida, QB: 125.7 RAT, 65.0 CMP%, 25 TD, 2 INT.

SportsNation's pick: Graham Harrell

Davey O'Brien Award (Quarterback)

The Davey O'Brien Award is named after the All-American football player at Texas Christian University who was named to thirteen All-American teams and became the only college football player to win the Heisman, Maxwell, and Walter Camp trophies in the same year. The 2007 recipient of the Davey O'Brien Award was Florida quarterback Tim Tebow.

Sam Bradford, Oklahoma: 134.8 RAT, 4,080 YDS, 46 TD, 6 INT.
Graham Harrell, Texas Tech, QB: 115.4 RAT, 4,747 YDS, 41 TD, 7 INT.
Colt McCoy, Texas, QB: 125.6 RAT, 77.6 CMP%, 32 TD, 7 INT.

SportsNation's pick: Graham Harrell

Outland Trophy (Interior Lineman)

The following nominees for the Outland Award are all key members of units that gave opponents trouble all year in the trenches. The 2007 recipient of the Outland Trophy was defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey of LSU.

Michael Oher, Mississippi: Running backs averaged 4.6 YDS per carry.

Duke Robinson, Oklahoma: Offense ranked third in the nation.

Andre Smith, Alabama: Given up only one sack all season.

SportsNation's pick: Andre Smith

Jim Thorpe Award (Defensive Back)

The Thorpe Award has been presented since 1986, based on performance on the field, athletic ability and character. Recent winners include Antoine Cason of Arizona (2007), Aaron Ross of Texas (2006), Michael Huff of Texas (2005), Carlos Rogers of Auburn (2004), Derrick Strait of Oklahoma (2003), Terence Newman of Kansas State (2002) and Roy Williams of Oklahoma (2001).

Eric Berry, Tennessee, SS: Leads the nation with 7 INT, two returned for TD, 3 sacks.
Malcolm Jenkins, Ohio State, CB: 3 INT, 3 forced fumbles and 2 blocked kicks.
Taylor Mays, USC, S: 48 tackles, 7 pass breakups, for USC's No. 1 ranked defense.

SportsNation's pick: Eric Berry

Doak Walker Award (Running Back)

The Doak Walker Award is the only major collegiate football award that requires all candidates to be in good academic standing and on schedule to graduate within one year of other students of the same classification. It recognizes the nation's premier running back for his accomplishments on the field, achievement in the classroom and citizenship in the community. The 2007 recipient of the Doak Walker Award was Darren McFadden of Arkansas.

Shonn Greene, Iowa: 1,729 rush YDS, 17 TD. Long: 75 YDS.
Knowshon Moreno, Georgia: 1,338 rush YDS, 16 TD. Long: 68 YDS.
Javon Ringer, Michigan State: 1,590 rush YDS, 21 TD. Long: 64 YDS

SportsNation's pick: Shonn Greene