Oklahoma QB Mayfield, Wisconsin RB Taylor bring home 2017 CBS Sports awards
The Sooners' quarterback and Badgers' rusher stood out among their peers this season
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield rounds out what has been an award-filled run this December with another major honor after being named the 2017 CBS Sports College Football Player of the Year on Wednesday.
Mayfield is running through the awards circuit this season, and this honor comes with little surprise after the Sooners quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner was a unanimous first team selection to the 2017 CBS Sports All-America team Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor, was a second team All-America seelctionby our panel and also received a nod from 247Sports as a Freshman All-American earlier this week.. Our CBS Sports Freshman of the Year,
The Coach of the Year has been less of a consensus pick during award season. Our panel has selected UAB coach Bill Clark for the honor after the Blazers finished with their best record in the first full season back in action after being shut down for the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
Player of the Year: Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield
Mayfield's third Big 12 title as Oklahoma's starting quarterback showcased an experienced signal-caller in full control of Lincoln Riley's Air Raid offensive system. The work and development since his college career started as a Texas Tech walk-on in 2013 contributed to Mayfield leading nation in passing efficiency by a wide margin and finishing the year with an incredible 41-to-5 touchdown-to-interception ratio and an 11.8 yards per attempt average (also No. 1 nationally). The Sooners' offense was wide open and nearly unstoppable at times with Mayfield utilizing nearly every option from a very long list of capable skill position options, resulting in a Heisman Trophy and CBS Sports Player of the Year finish as he leads the Sooners into the College Football Playoff.
Freshman of the Year: Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor
Just a three-star prospect coming out of New Jersey, per the 247Sports Composite, Taylor burst onto the scene early in the year and quickly made his name known as the next in a line of prolific Wisconsin running backs. Taylor's 1,847 rushing yards led the Big Ten (by nearly 500 yards) and ranked No. 3 nationally behind San Diego State's Rashaad Penny and Stanford's Bryce Love. Taylor's performance this year was not only one of the best by a freshman running back in Wisconsin history but one of the best in the history of college football as he enters the Badgers' bowl game against Miami needing only 79 yards to break Adrian Peterson's FBS freshman rushing record.
Coach of the Year: UAB coach Bill Clark
The season has been dubbed #TheReturn, and it will hold a special place in the hearts of football fans in Alabama for a long time. UAB sets new program highs for wins (eight) and conference wins (six), and now Clark has a chance to notch the schools first-ever bowl win when the Blazers take on Ohio in the Bahamas Bowl on Dec. 22. Clark had just completed his first season at UAB when the school announced it was going to shut down the program, but he remained in Birmingham and fought to raise over $45 million to reinstate football and build a new facility for the program. The first year back saw UAB lead Conference USA in home attendance with 11 Blazers finishing the year earning all-conference honors.
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