Klein Wins Unitas Award
BALTIMORE, Md. (AP) – Kansas State’s Collin Klein has won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, given to the nation’s top upperclassman quarterback.
Klein passed for 2,490 yards, ran for 890 and accounted for 37 touchdowns (22 rushing and 15 passing) for the No. 7 Wildcats (11-1).
The other finalists were Southern California’s Matt Barkley, West Virginia’s Geno Smith, Florida State’s EJ Manuel and Alabama’s AJ McCarron. The winner was announced on Monday.
Klein is also a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.
Last year’s Unitas Award winner was Andrew Luck.
Te’o wins Nagurski Award for top defensive player
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Manti Te’o got a call from Dick Butkus on Monday morning, letting him know he was voted the nation’s best linebacker. A few hours later, the Notre Dame star accepted the Bronko Nagurski Award as the nation’s top defensive player.
Oh yeah, he also picked up a trip to New York as one of the finalists for the Heisman Trophy.
Not a bad day at all.
The energetic senior from Hawaii helped put Notre Dame back in the spotlight this season, leading the top-ranked Fighting Irish to an unbeaten regular season and a date with Alabama in the BCS championship game Jan. 7.
Te’o says being mentioned along with former Nagurski winners such as Charles Woodson, Terrell Suggs, Warren Sapp and Champ Bailey is “something very special to me.”
Te’o led the nation’s top-ranked defense with 103 tackles and seven interceptions.
He beat out four other finalists: South Carolina end Jadeveon Clowney, Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones, Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner and Florida State end Bjoern Werner.
When asked what he’d rather win – a national championship or the Nagurski Award – Te’o smiled and laughed as if it’s the easiest question he’s ever answered.
“Hey, all these awards are great, but football is a team sport,” he said. “If you ask people who the Butkus Award or the Bednarik Award winners are, or even the Heisman Trophy winner some years, they probably don’t remember them. But they remember who won the national championship. They remember that. That’s the trophy everybody wants.”
Penn State QB McGloin wins Burlsworth Award
SPRINGDALE, Ark. (AP) – Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin has won the Burlsworth Award, given to the top college football player who began his career as a walk-on.
McGloin helped the Nittany Lions to an 8-4 record this season, setting school records for yards passing (3,266) and touchdowns (24) in a season. The senior also holds the school mark for career passing touchdowns (46).
The West Scranton (Pa.) native’s only scholarship offer out of high school was from Lehigh. He helped Penn State win eight of its final 10 games this season, throwing for at least 200 yards and a touchdown in all 12 games.
The other finalists were Michigan safety Jordan Kovacs and San Jose State offensive tackle David Quessenberry.
The award is named for former Arkansas offensive lineman Brandon Burlsworth.
Ex-Vols coach Fulmer entering Hall of Fame
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Phillip Fulmer remembers assuming he would coach again when Tennessee fired him in 2008.
Four years later, Fulmer still hasn’t returned to the sidelines. He hasn’t closed the door on the possibility of a comeback, but it seems less likely with each passing year. Fulmer said he’s had chances to return, but the opportunities haven’t been tempting enough.
The latest signal of potential closure comes Tuesday when Fulmer is inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, an honor that generally comes after retirement.
Fulmer will join former Miami coach Jimmy Johnson, former Texas A&M coach R.C. Slocum and 14 former players in getting inducted at a National Football Foundation awards dinner in New York. He posted a 152-52 record at Tennessee that included a 1998 national championship.
Louisville coach raises questions about his future
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Charlie Strong says he will answer questions about his future at Louisville when the time is right.
His comment Monday did more to fuel questions about whether he is leaving the Cardinals than it did to put them to rest.
Strong’s name has surfaced for job openings at Tennessee and Auburn. When he was asked if he could definitively say he will be at Louisville next year, the third-year coach said, “I will say that at the right time.”
Strong says he has not spoken with other schools and added that he has a great job at Louisville. He also says he is in a “no-win situation” regarding the reports about his future.
No. 22 Louisville (10-2) will play Florida in the Jan. 2 Sugar Bowl.
hired as Idaho coach
MOSCOW, Idaho (AP) – The University of Idaho has announced that Paul Petrino will be its new head football coach.
The university said Monday that Petrino has produced some of the most prolific offenses in the nation as an assistant coach at several other schools.
Petrino replaces interim coach Jason Gesser, who guided the Vandals during the final four games after Robb Akey was fired.
Petrino has been the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Arkansas.
Terms of his contract were not disclosed.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) – It didn’t take Joker Phillips long to find another job.
The former Kentucky head coach landed at No. 4 Florida on Monday, joining the Gators as receivers coach and recruiting coordinator.
Florida coach Will Muschamp says Phillips will begin work Friday, adding that his “background as a head coach and the number of years he has coached wide receivers will be a tremendous asset to our coaching staff and players. Joker is obviously very familiar with the Southeastern Conference and has always done a great job in recruiting.”
Phillips was a longtime receivers coach before taking over at Kentucky in 2010. He went 13-24 in three years with the Wildcats.
Former receivers Aubrey Hill left Florida in early August amid an NCAA investigation that involved his coaching tenure at Miami.