While the dog days of summer are near, it is never too early to speculate about the 2020-2021 College Football Season. As universities begin to open, it is looking promising that there will be a season. Although we are still a ways away, the excitement is real.
December is too far away to wait for the national awards shows. That said, we at Menace 2 Sports decided to have some fun and pass out some preseason awards of our own. Here are 15 way-too early superlatives you need to know for the college football season.
Danny Wuerffel Award: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
Awarded to the best quarterback in the CFB.
The gap between Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields continues to lessen. As of now, Lawrence is the better quarterback, but that can change during the season. Lawrence is expected to make a true push for the Heisman Trophy in his final season. The talented Junior has yet to make a trip to New York, but he has been in the National Championship game for the past two years. According to PFF, Lawrence had a 90.0 plus grade in his first two seasons, joining Tua Tagovailoa as the only quarterbacks to grade high in 2018 and 2019. In 2020, I expect that to remain the same. Lawrence will miss Tee Higgins on the outside, but he has Justyn Ross, who will be in contention for the Biletnikoff Award. To be honest it does not matter who lines up at wide receiver for Clemson. With Lawrence as the signal-caller Clemson is automatically a championship-caliber team and that’s why he is the winner of the Danny Wuerffel award.
The Reggie Bush Award: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
Awarded to the most outstanding player in CFB.
Ohio State fans did not know what to expect when Justin Fields stepped in as the quarterback, but boy were they in for a special treat. In only two seasons in Columbus, Fields will arguably go down as the best quarterback in school history if he brings them a Championship. Even without a championship, Fields has carved his name into Buckeye lore as an all-time great. Fields is still slightly behind Trevor Lawrence as a pure passer, but Fields is more versatile. Fields can beat you any way he wants. When healthy, he is one of the best runners at his position and his arm talent is second to none. According to PFF, Fields graded out as a 92.4 in conference play, which is good for the best in the Big Ten. On a national level, he had the second-lowest off-target rate on intermediate passes in the country, which is a testament to his accuracy.
Peter Warrick Award: Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
Awarded to the most exciting player in the CFB.
The dynamic wide receiver had his season cut short last season, but this year he will be back in the national spotlight as the most exciting player in the country. Moore had a lot of competition for this category, but when he is on top of his game there is not a more exciting player in the county.
Charlie Weis Award: Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M
Awarded to the most overrated coach in CFB.
Life after Florida State has not been so kind to Jimbo. After receiving a lucrative deal worth north of $70 Million, Fisher was expected to turn the Texas A&M into a national power. In his tenure as the Aggies head man, he is 17-9, which is far from what is expected. Could this year be a turning point for Fisher and the Ags? My guess is no, and it will further prove why he is the way too early recipient of the Charlie Weis Award.
The Joe Burrow Award: Cade Mays, OL, Tennessee
Awarded to the best transfer in CFB.
D’Eriq King (Miami), Jamie Newman (Georgia), and KJ Costello (Mississippi State) will receive more national recognition than Cade Mays, but he will be more valuable. For Tennessee to take a step in the right direction, it all starts up front. Mays has experience as a starter at all five positions along the offensive line from when he played at Georgia. That goes to say that his versatility is invaluable for the Vols team and look for Mays to be one of the most impactful transfers in college football.
Josh Metellus Award: Whoever wears No.14 for Michigan
Awarded to the cornerback that is most likely to get ‘Mossed’
Some jersey numbers have a historic semblance at certain universities and thanks to Josh Mettelus, No.14 is etched in history in Ann Arbor. Metellus is now in the NFL, and we wish him the best going forward, but his spirit lives on at Michigan. As a member of the Wolverines Metellus was on the wrong end of a litany of highlights, so I decided to name this award after him. If Don Brown & Co. are smart, they will retire the jersey for all of the wrong reasons.
LaVar Arrington Award: Gregory Rousseau, DL, Miami
Awarded to the most feared defensive player in the CFB.
If you need someone in the fox hole with you when shit gets bad, Gregory Rousseau is your guy. Rousseau looks like he eats weights for breakfast, and he shows no remorse for his opponents on the field. The 6’7 behemoth of a man is a physical freak and a quarterback’s nightmare. He is not as polished as Chase Young was a season ago, but he generates the same type of fear for opposing offenses.
Jackie Sherill Award: Dabo Swinney, Clemson
Awarded to the most annoying coach in CFB.
Have you seen Coach Swinney’s Tik Tok?
Jake Locker Award: Ian Book, QB, Notre Dame
Awarded to the player that will not live up to the hype.
Ian Book is expected to have a huge year as many pundits are high on him and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Book has quite the resume, he holds a 20-3 record as a starter and he led the Fighting Irish to the College Football Playoffs in 2018. The fifth-year senior will miss his security blanket in Chase Claypool and with a stable of new wide receivers –he is likely to take a step back.
Richard Sherman Award: Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, DB, Cincinnati
Awarded to the best CFP player you’ve never heard of.
Sauce Gardner is not only the best cornerback you have never heard of, but he’s arguably the best player in the country you’ve never heard of. According to PFF he posted a 90.0 grade, which was 8th best in FBS. The Detroit native has a knack to make game-changing plays. As a sophomore he will begin to receive some recognition, but as the season nears the end, he will be a household name for Luke Fickell’s Cincinnati Bearcats.
Michael Crabtree Award: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
Awarded to the best WR in the CFB.
Ja’Marr Chase was an easy choice for this award. Although guys such as Rashod Bateman, Rondale Moore, Olave, Jaylen Waddle, and Justyn Ross may have better statistical seasons, Chase is the most NFL ready out of the bunch. It will be interesting to see Chase without Joe Burrow, but I am certain that he will cement his crown as the top wideout in CFB.
Noel Devine Award: Chuba Hubbard, RB Oklahoma State
Awarded to the most exciting RB in CFB.
One of the nation’s leading rushers from a season ago returns and as expected, he will be must-see-tv. It will be hard to top 2,094 yards and 21 TD’s from last year, but he will ample opportunity to do so. Hubbard is the catalyst for the Pokes and when as he goes, the team goes. Hubbard has Le’Veon Bell-like patience and watching him glide through defenses is a sight to behold.
Honey Badger Award: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
Awarded to the most versatile defender in CFB.
Micah Parsons is an anomaly at the linebacker position. Just as we saw with Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons, Parsons poses a similar threat. He can play all three downs Parsons and he is an elite pass-rusher. Parsons is slated to be one of the best if not best defensive players in the country. The B1G Linebacker of the year will be the favorite to win the Butkus Award as well as a garnering All-Big Ten and All-American Honors. Parsons will keep offensive coordinators up at night as they will try to find ways to scheme away from him, which is virtually impossible to say the least.
Steve McNair Award: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
Awarded to the best player from a small school.
After having 42 total touchdowns and 0 INTs, which included an insane 28:0 touchdown-to-interception ratio Trey Lance put the college football world on notice. All eyes will be on Lance as the nation will be anticipating an encore performance in his second year as the starting quarterback. According to PFF Lance received a passing grade of 87.2 and that will likely improve this season. If Lance continues to progress at a rapid rate, he will likely be a first-round draft pick just as Steve McNair did in 1995.
Appalachian State Award: North Dakota State over Oregon
Awarded to the team that pulls off the biggest upset.
If Oregon can host this game, the Ducks faithful (if that’s a thing) need to be worried. North Dakota State has an impressive track record against FBS schools. They have won their last six matchups including defeating 13th ranked Iowa in 2016 in Kinnick Stadium. The matchup against NDSU is the ultimate trap game with potentially playing Ohio State the next week. The Bisons are no slouch, and the world will witness it come September.