AJ McCarron, Jameis Winston win top awards

AJ McCarron, Jameis Winston win top awards
Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron won college football's player of the year award on Thursday. (Dave Martin / Associated Press)

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron won the Maxwell Award, given to college football's player of the year. Florida State's Jameis Winston won the Davey O'Brien Award, given to the top quarterback.

Both players are finalists for the Heisman Trophy, which will be presented Saturday night.

McCarron, a fifth-year senior, led Alabama to an 11-1 season that left the Crimson Tide just short of a chance to play for its third straight national championship. Winston, a redshirt freshman and Heisman favorite, hopes to join the past three Davey O'Brien winners, who all went on to take home the Heisman in the same year.

Winston also was selected as the Walter Camp player of the year, joining Charlie Ward in 1993 as the only Seminoles to win the award.


He led top-ranked Florida State to a 13-0 record and a berth in the BCS national championship game against Auburn. Along the way, Winston completed 67.9% of his passes for 3,820 yards and 38 touchdowns with 10 interceptions.


Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald won the Chuck Bednarik Award as the defensive player of the year and the Outland Trophy, given to the nation's top interior lineman. He beat out UCLA's Anthony Barr for the Bednarik Award.


Boston College's Andre Williams won the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation's top running back. A Heisman finalist as well, Williams became the first running back at the major college level since 2008 to rush for 2,000 yards. He finished with 2,102 yards and 17 touchdowns to help the Eagles to seven wins and a bowl berth.

Oregon State junior Brandin Cooks won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's most outstanding wide receiver. Cooks finished the season with 120 catches for 1,670 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also had 31 receptions for more than 20 yards, most in the country among wide receivers.

Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard won the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation's best defensive back.

Florida State freshman Roberto Aguayo won the Lou Groza Award as the nation's best kicker. Aguayo made 19 of 20 field goal attempts for the top-ranked Seminoles, including a long of 52 yards. Memphis senior Tom Hornsey won the Ray Guy Award as the nation's best punter.


UCLA's Barr was named a first-team Walter Camp All-American. Barr, a senior linebacker, has 23.5 sacks and 41.5 tackles for a loss the last two seasons. This season, Barr has 62 tackles, 20 for a loss, and 10 sacks. He has forced five fumbles and recovered four.

Barr started his career as a receiver on offense before moving to linebacker after his sophomore season. He was named a second-team All-American by the Associated Press last season.

—Chris Foster

Texas talk

Texas Coach Mack Brown declined to say Thursday whether the Alamo Bowl will be his final game, amid intense speculation following another disappointing season that began with the Longhorns talking about becoming national championship contenders.

"My situation has not changed," Brown said.

Speaking to reporters for the first time since multiple published reports this week indicated that he might step down after an 8-4 season, Brown said he has yet to talk with new Texas Athletic Director Steve Patterson and President Bill Powers about the job he has held since 1998.

Brown deflected several other questions about his future during a news conference in San Antonio about Texas' bowl game against Oregon on Dec. 30.

"I want to sit down with [Patterson] and Bill in the near future and talk about where we're going and where our program is going," Brown said.


Boise State and new Coach Bryan Harsin agreed to terms of a five-year contract valued at $6.5 million. Harsin, who succeeds Chris Petersen, will be paid a salary of $1 million each of the first two years, with subsequent raises to $1.3 million, then $1.55 million and $1.65 million in the final year. ... Florida Coach Will Muschamp announced that six offensive players have decided to transfer after the program's first losing season since 1979. The list includes freshman quarterback Max Staver and three offensive linemen.