Dec. 7, 2000
ESPN.com news services
ORLANDO, Fla. –
Florida State’s Chris Weinke won the Davey O’Brien Award, presented to the nation’s
top quarterback at the Home Depot ESPN Awards Show Thursday night. Weinke, who beat out Oklahoma’s Josh Heupel and Purdue’s Drew
Brees, threw for 4,167 yards and 33 TDs this season.
The Davey O’Brien Award could be a preview of who
will win the Heisman Trophy Saturday.
But in a shocking conclusion to the event, Purdue’s Drew
Brees won the Maxwell Award as the nation’s outstanding
player. Most expected either Weinke or Heupel to win the
award, but Brees captured the award after throwing for
3,393 yards and 24 TDs this season.
In another mild surprise, Tennessee’s DL John Henderson
won the Outland Trophy, presented to the nation’s
outstanding interior lineman. Henderson, who beat out
Nebraska center Dominic Raiola and Texas offensive
tackle Leonard Davis, anchored a Tennessee defense that
helped the Vols reel off six straight wins and earn a
Cotton Bowl bid.
Pittsburgh’s Antonio Bryant won the Biletnikoff Award,
presented to the country’s top receiver. Bryant, who
edged out UCLA’s Freddie Mitchell and FSU’s Marvin Minnis, had 68 receptions for
1,302 yards and 11 TDs.
Wisconsin’s Kevin Stemke earned the inaugural Ray Guy Trophy, edging out Cal’s
Nick Harris and Minnesota’s Preston Gruening. Many thought Harris — who reminds
many of Guy, including Guy himself — would win, but Stemke’s 44.85 yard average
helped him win the award.
Wisconsin won another award, this time defensive back Jamar Fletcher winning the
Jim Thorpe Award. Fletcher, who beat out Mississippi State’s Fred Smoot and Akron’s
Dwight Smith, has six interceptions and was rarely challenged this season.
Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops was named the Home Depot Coach of the Year. Stoops
guided the Sooners to a No. 1 ranking, a 12-0 record and a spot in this year’s national
title game in the Orange Bowl against Florida State.
University of Cincinnati’s Jonathan Ruffin won the Lou Groza Award as the nation’s
top collegiate kicker. Ruffin finished ahead of Kansas State’s Jamie Rheem and
Tennessee’s Alex Walls, who will meet in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 1. Just two votes
separated all three, organizers said.
Ruffin kicked 26-of-29 field goals and had a school single-season record 104 points as
the Bearcats earned a bid to the Motor City Bowl against Marshall. He also set a
school record by kicking at least one field goal in each game.
TCU’s LaDainian Tomlinson won the Doak Walker Award, presented to the nation’s
best running back. Tomlinson, who beat out Northwestern’s Damien Anderson and
Michigan’s Anthony Thomas, led the country in rushing with 2,158 yards. He is also
just the second player ever to rush for 2,000 in a season and over 5,000 in a career
(Texas’ Ricky Williams is the other).
Miami linebacker Dan Morgan won the Chuck Bednarik Award presented to the
nation’s outstanding defensive player. Morgan, who edged out FSU defensive lineman
Jamal Reynolds and Clemson linebacker Keith Adams, averaged 11.6 tackles a game
and finished his career as Miami’s all-time leader in tackles with 532.
William & Mary running back Hameen Ali was presented the Disney Spirit Award for
his inspirational story of overcoming being deserted by his mother to go on to become a
top high school and college athlete. He was a state track champion and star football
player in high school in Delaware and is No. 8 on William & Mary’s all-time rushing list
with 2,217 yards.