BEAMER, HEUPEL SHARE 2021 STEVE SPURRIER AWARD
DALLAS (FWAA) – South Carolina coach Shane Beamer and Tennessee coach Josh Heupel are the co-winners of the Steve Spurrier First-Year Coach of the Year Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America and Chris Doering Mortgage. It's the second time the 43-year-old Heupel has won the award, which began in 2001 but is in its first year being sponsored by Doering and named after Spurrier. Heupel, like Spurrier a former All-America quarterback in his day, was the FWAA First-year Coach of the Year at UCF in 2018. Beamer, son of celebrated Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer, is the second South Carolina coach to win the award. Spurrier actually won the award in 2005 in his first season leading the Gamecocks.
GEORGIA'S BOWERS IS 2021 FRESHMAN PLAYER OF THE YEAR
DALLAS (FWAA) – Record-breaking Georgia All-America tight end Brock Bowers has been named the recipient of the fourth annual FWAA Freshman of the Year presented by Chris Doering Mortgage. The unquestioned most valuable player on the Georgia offense, Bowers led the Bulldogs with 56 catches for 882 yards and a program-record 13 receiving touchdowns. Bowers, who scored touchdowns in each of the last five games of the season, is the first player from Georgia and first tight end to win the award.
OHIO STATE'S STROUD CAPTURES FRESHMAN BREAKOUT PERFORMANCE AWARD
DALLAS (FWAA) – Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud was named the fourth annual recipient of the FWAA Freshman Breakout Performance Award presented by Chris Doering Mortgage for his performances against Michigan State and Utah. The FWAA Freshman Breakout Performance Award is awarded annually to the college football freshman with the best single-game performance of the season. Stroud, a Heisman Trophy and Davey O'Brien Award finalist and the Big Ten's Offensive Player of the Year, was a unanimous selection with two performances worthy of the breakout award.
OKLAHOMA STATE'S OLIVER IS MOST INSPIRATIONAL FRESHMAN
DALLAS (FWAA) – Oklahoma State defensive end Collin Oliver was named the third annual Most Inspirational Freshman for 2021 by the Football Writers Association of America and Chris Doering Mortgage on Monday night. Oliver, a 6-foot-2, 225-pounder from Oklahoma City, played considerably bigger than his frame and made giant contributions for a defense that led the nation with 4.0 sacks per game. Oliver's 11.5 sacks led FBS Power 5 conference freshmen, and only Coastal Carolina freshman Josaiah Stewart (12.5) had more. The unanimous Big 12 Freshman Defensive Player of the Year was somewhat under the radar when he signed with the Cowboys in 2020, rated a three-star linebacker by the 247 Composite. Oliver quickly changed the narrative upon his arrival in Stillwater.