Alabama running back Derrick Henry was the biggest star of college football’s awards night, as he won the Maxwell Award, given to the college player of the year, and the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation’s top running back.
The awards were presented for the first time at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta on Thursday.
Henry, Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey and Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson were the finalists for the Maxwell Award and also are the finalists for the Heisman Trophy, to be presented Saturday.
Watson won the Davey O’Brien Award, given to the nation’s top quarterback.
Stanford’s Joshua Garnett won the Outland Trophy, given to the top interior lineman.
Dykes’ deal redone
California agreed to a two-year contract extension with Coach Sonny Dykes that will increase his pay immediately and keep him locked up through the 2019 season.
Dykes had two years remaining on his original five-year deal, and both sides had been looking to extend it after he helped lead the Golden Bears (7-5) to their first bowl game since 2011. They’ll play Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl this month.
“Turning around a program is not an easy task, and in three years, Sonny and his staff have been instrumental in reestablishing a strong culture for our football program,” Athletic Director Michael Williams said.
Dykes will get a raise from approximately $2 million a year — which was the lowest salary for a head football coach in the Pac-12 Conference — to $2.825 million per year for the next four seasons. He is 13-23 at Cal.
Pitt rewards coach
Pittsburgh’s promising first season under Pat Narduzzi has earned the energetic coach a contract extension.
The school announced it has extended Narduzzi’s contract through the 2021 season. Narduzzi led Pitt to an 8-4 record and a second-place finish behind North Carolina in the Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division. Pitt will face Navy in the Military Bowl on Dec. 28.
Athletic Director Scott Barnes said Narduzzi “adrenalized” the program after replacing Paul Chryst last December. The Panthers were picked to finish sixth in the Coastal Division but thrived under Narduzzi despite losing reigning ACC Player of the Year James Conner to a knee injury in the season opener.
Chris Ash has started assembling his football staff at Rutgers, reaching into his Ohio State ties to name Vince Okruch as special teams coordinator. Okruch spent the previous three seasons at Ohio State assisting with quality control for the kicking game and the defense. He brings more than 35 years coaching experience to the Scarlet Knights. ... Wyoming Coach Craig Bohl announced the departure of three undergraduate players from the program: junior defensive tackle Uso Olive, junior walk-on linebacker Will Tutein and freshman walk-on kicker Tristan Bailey will not return to the team next season for personal reasons. Bohl declined further comment. ...... Ohio State officials say defensive lineman Adolphus Washington has been cited by Columbus police for alleged solicitation, a first-degree misdemeanor, and is due in court Thursday. Washington issued an apology through the university to his team, family and friends.