Maxwell Football Club President Mark Dianno announced today that Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has been selected as the winner of the 82nd Maxwell Award for the Collegiate Player of the Year, and that Kentucky senior linebacker Josh Allen is the winner of the 24 th Chuck Bednarik Award for the Collegiate Defensive Player of the Year. The winners of the 82 nd Maxwell Award and the 24th Chuck Bednarik Award were announced tonight as part of the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show, live from the College Football Hall of Fame – Chick-Fil-A Experience in Atlanta.
Allen, a 6-foot-5, 260-pound linebacker, was dominating this season for Kentucky with an SEC-best 14 sacks, 18.5 tackles for loss and five forced fumbles to go with his team-high 84 total tackles. He broke the Kentucky single-season and career sacks record (28.5) already this season. He was named a ProFootballFocus.com All-American as well on Monday. That site, which uses advanced metrics to grade players nationally, noted that Allen was the top defensive edge rusher in the country. “Allen brought in 51 total pressures that included 14 sacks, nine QB hits and an additional 28 hurries,” the site said. “Rounding out his game, he dropped into coverage on 141 snaps and allowed just 130 yards on 19 targets without allowing a touchdown.” He was named to the All-Southeastern Conference 1 st team defense and was also named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year.
Kentucky will square off with Penn State on January 1 st in the VRBO Citrus Bowl.
Tagovailoa burst onto the national scene last January when he led Alabama to a furious comeback win against Clemson in the National Championship Game. He took the reigns as a full-time starter as a sophomore and has put together one of the most prolific seasons in Alabama football history leading the Crimson Tide to a 13-0 record and a wire to wire No. 1 ranking this fall. Tagovailoa owns the Alabama single-season record for passing touchdowns with 37 through 13 games and leads a dynamic Tide offense that averages 47.9 points per game, which ranks No. 2 in the nation. He ranks second nationally with a 202.3 passer efficiency rating and led the conference with 42 total touchdowns, 37 of which came through the air, and he ranks fourth in the SEC in total yards at 3,543 despite not playing a majority of the second halves in the Tide’s 13 contests. For the season Tagovailoa passed for 3,353 yards (199-294-4 – 67%) and added an additional 190 yards and 5 touchdowns on the ground. He was named 1 st Team All-Southeastern Conference as a quarterback and was also recognized as the SEC Offensive Player of the Year.
Tagovialoa is Alabama’s third Maxwell Award winner joining AJ McCarron (2013) and Derrick Henry (2015). Alabama faces off with Oklahoma in the national semi-final game in the Orange Bowl on December 29th. Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma was the 2017 Maxwell Award winner, and Alabama’s Minkah Fitzpatrick was the recipient of last year’s Bednarik Award. Mayfield was the 1 st pick in the NFL Draft and is the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. Fitzpatrick was also a 1 st round NFL selection and is currently starting in the Miami Dolphins secondary. The formal presentation of these awards will be made at the Maxwell Football Club's 82nd Anniversary Awards Gala on Friday, March 8, 2019 at the Tropicana Casino Resort in Atlantic City, NJ. MFC National Awards Gala tickets are available on the Club’s website. Visit https://www.maxwellfootballclub.org/product/national-awards-individual-ticket/ for event and ticket information.
Eligible voters for the Maxwell and Bednarik awards include Maxwell Football Club members, NCAA FBS head football coaches, sports information directors, and selected national media. All questions concerning the winners or the awards presented by the Maxwell Football Club can be directed to Mark Wolpert, Maxwell Football Club Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or to Richard Cirminiello, Director of Collegiate Awards at email@example.com.