Most of the highlights are already known: Sumlin's salary is now $5 million per year and if he were to leave before the final game of the 2016 season, his buyout would be $5 million (Sumlin's buyout clause ends after 2016, while A&M's buyout exists through the length of the deal).
A copy of the new contract was obtained by ESPN.com on Monday via an open records request. Here is a summary of the notable details:
• Sumlin signed the deal on Thursday.
• The new contract goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2014 and ends on Dec. 31, 2019.
• Salary is $5 million annually (up from $3.1 million in the contract he signed in January after the 2012 season).
• If Sumlin leaves before the end of the 2016 season (including any bowl game), he owes Texas A&M $5 million. After the 2016 season, there is no buyout on Sumlin's end.
• If Texas A&M terminates the contract at any time prior to the end date, it owes Sumlin whatever salary remains from the termination date to the end of the contract. Both Sumlin's and the school's buyout must be paid within 60 days of the termination date.
• The assistant coach salary pool remains the same as it was in his January contract: $3.4 million. The contract states that Sumlin and athletic director Eric Hyman will meet annually to mutually determine the salary pool and that the pool will be set at a level that can keep the Aggies competitive "with all the other top-tier SEC football programs."
• Sumlin's bowl game and championship game bonuses remain the same as they were in the deal he signed in January. He gets $100,000 for making the SEC championship game or $150,000 if the Aggies win the game.
• A bowl game appearance equates to a $50,000 bonus. If it's the AT&T Cotton Bowl, Capital One Bowl, Chick-Fil-A Bowl or the Outback Bowl, the bonus is $100,000. A BCS bowl appearance is $250,000 or $300,000 for a win.
• Appearance in the national championship game gets Sumlin $300,000. If the Aggies win the national championship, the bonus is $400,000.
• His bonus structure relating to the new College Football Playoff is essentially to be determined. The contract states that the parties "agree to negotiate in good faith with respect to a reasonable bonus structure" and that it will be "at least commensurate with other similarly situated programs for such a restructured BCS or such playoffs." This clause was in Sumlin's previous deal.
• Sumlin gets $50,000 for winning the SEC coach of the year honors and $75,000 if he's named national coach of the year by the American Football Coaches Association or the Associated Press. That's also consistent with his previous deal.
• The APR bonuses remain the same. An APR between 950-964 results in a $50,000 bonus, an APR of 965-974 means a $75,000 bonus and an APR of 975 or higher means a $100,000 bonus (about a third of each of those bonuses will be allocated to staff members with the rest going to Sumlin).
Alabama and Texas A&M finished tied for the most selections among SEC schools with two apiece.
Senior linebacker C.J. Mosley and junior safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix represented the Tide. Mosley became the first player in the Nick Saban era at Alabama to register 100 tackles in back-to-back seasons, and Clinton-Dix, despite missing a few games while being cleared by the NCAA, racked up two interceptions and six passes defensed.
Offensive tackle Jake Matthews and wide receiver Mike Evans were chosen from Texas A&M. Evans, at 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds, was nearly unstoppable. He led the SEC with 12 touchdown receptions and averaged a whopping 20.3 yards per catch. Matthews, who paved the way for the Aggies run game and protected Johnny Manziel's blind side, developed into an Outland Trophy finalist and the No. 3 NFL prospect on Scouts Inc.'s draft board.
Missouri defensive end Michael Sam also made the cut. He may have begun the season under the radar, but he didn't end that way. He finished the regular season with the most sacks in the SEC (10.5) and the most tackles for loss (18).
For the entire 2013 All-America team, click here.
- Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron had a whirlwind weekend that culminated in the Heisman Trophy ceremonies in New York. Also, take a look at a social media scrapbook detailing the three-city tour.
- What's next for Auburn running back Tre Mason? After finishing sixth in Heisman voting, he's thinking of the national championship and not the NFL.
- Aaron Murray says, "It was almost like I didn't say goodbye." Georgia's quarterback won't be on the field for his team's bowl game, but he does expect to be back in Athens for the Bulldogs' Pro Day.
- With a shot at a second straight Heisman now over, we begin looking at the lasting impact of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. It's safe to say his legacy will last well beyond his playing days.
- Steve Spurrier says his South Carolina team has, "No difficulty getting up for bowl games." That's good because Monday's first practice marks the first of the bowl season and all attention must be turned to Wisconsin.
- There wasn't a thing on the football field that LSU's Odell Beckham Jr. couldn't do. In addition to being a stellar receiver, he was one of the best return specialists in the SEC. And in case you missed it, he was recognized as such on Friday when he won the Paul Hornung Award for versatility.
- Get prepared for the Liberty Bowl with these Mississippi State talking points. Can the Bulldogs carry over some defensive momentum?
The league needed a fresh face at a historic place and a little bit of luck to take its talents out west, but it only made sense that the conference that already owns nine BCS titles gets one last shot at another.
Auburn didn't have a smothering defense, but it pounded just about every team it faced with the nation's most dangerous rushing attack (335.7 yards per game). Led by Heisman Trophy finalist Tre Mason (1,621 yards and 22 touchdowns), the Tigers' rushing attack, which features elements of the spread, triple option and power running, crossed the 200-yard mark in 12 games.
Along the way, the Tigers had thrilling endings in wins against Texas A&M, Georgia and Alabama. The final two showcased a destined Hail Mary from quarterback Nick Marshall against Georgia and an unthinkable last-second, 109-yard touchdown return by Chris Davis on a missed 57-yard field goal attempt by Alabama.
With Auburn in the big game, that means that for the first time since Auburn was last in this game in 2010, Alabama will be watching from home. The Crimson Tide, which will be haunted by Davis' return for the foreseeable future, is headed to the Allstate Sugar Bowl and isn't competing for its third straight national championship.
The Tide seemed to have everything going for them until Davis took a chance. It bested Johnny Football in a shootout and topped LSU in dominating fashion late. But even Nick Saban and the Tide aren't perfect. A last-second decision to attempt a 57-yard field goal changed everything.
But in a year that was so un-SEC for the conference, it was fitting that Alabama missed the big one. Defenses were hard to come by, with only four teams giving up less than 350 yards a game. Only Alabama allowed less than 20 points per game (11.3).
Quarterbacks changed the dynamic of the conference with more shootouts than smashmouth games. Johnny Manziel passed (3,732 yards and 33 touchdowns) his way to New York for the Heisman ceremony, while we said somber goodbyes to Aaron Murray, AJ McCarron, Connor Shaw (still the toughest man in the game) and Zach Mettenberger.
Traditional SEC Eastern Division powers Florida and Georgia stumbled thanks to injuries. The Gators were hit the hardest and fell the most, suffering their first losing season since 1979, missing out on a bowl game for the first time in 22 years and losing to Vanderbilt and FCS Georgia Southern at home.
Then there was Missouri, which took the SEC East by storm in another bounce-back year. Headed by a high-flying offense, these Tigers won 11 and made it to Atlanta in their second year in the league, only to meet the buzz saw that is Auburn's running game.
Many things were different all around the league this year, but one thing remained the same: A chance at a national championship is still there. Once again, this league needed luck, but somehow the SEC found a way.
Offensive MVP: Tre Mason, RB, Auburn: Mason was one of the league's most consistent players. He led the SEC with 1,621 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns. He set an Auburn record with 23 total touchdowns and 2,137 all-purpose yards. In SEC games, Mason averaged 5.7 yards per carry and crossed the century mark on the ground eight times.
Newcomer of the year: With Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall spending a year at Georgia, he wasn't eligible. But our top newcomer came in and made an immediate impact in Florida's secondary. Vernon Hargreaves III started the final 10 games of the season, tying for first in the SEC with 14 passes defended (most by a freshman in Florida history). He also had three interceptions and 38 tackles.
Best game: There were so many to choose from this year. You had instant classics with Vanderbilt-Ole Miss, Georgia-LSU, Auburn-Texas A&M, Alabama-Texas A&M, Missouri-South Carolina and Auburn-Georgia. But Alabama-Auburn had the craziest ending of all. In a game that should have gone to overtime, Davis ended things with a remarkable return to give Auburn a 34-28 win over the top-ranked Crimson Tide. Fans stormed the field, and the Tigers eventually found a spot in the BCS title game.
Biggest disappointment: Yes, injuries ravaged the Gators, but a 4-8 record shouldn't happen at a program like Florida. The most embarrassing part about the year was that home loss to Georgia Southern before getting blown out by Florida State. The Gators scored more than 20 points just four times, and offensive coordinator Brent Pease and offensive line coach Tim Davis were both fired at the end of the season.
Biggest surprise: Auburn went from winning just three games a year ago to playing in the national championship in Malzahn's first season. The Tigers ranked last in the SEC in total offense last year (305) and head into bowl season ranking second (505.3) in the SEC.
Some of the selections were no-brainers. Others were agonizingly difficult to make. We placed a heavy emphasis on performance in big games, consistency and how a player impacted his team both on and off the field. Durability and being in the lineup the entire season was also a factor. In other words, if a player missed three or four games, we took that into account. And when it was close everywhere else, we looked at SEC-only statistics as the tiebreaker.
Here's what we came up with:
QB: Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
RB: Tre Mason, Auburn
RB: T.J. Yeldon, Alabama
WR: Mike Evans, Texas A&M
WR: Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt
AP: Odell Beckham Jr., LSU
TE: Arthur Lynch, Georgia
OL: Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State
OL: Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama
OL: Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
OL: Greg Robinson, Auburn
C: Travis Swanson, Arkansas
DL: Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
DL: Dee Ford, Auburn
DL: Kelcy Quarles, South Carolina
DL: Michael Sam, Missouri
LB: Ramik Wilson, Georgia
LB: C.J. Mosley, Alabama
LB: Lamin Barrow, LSU
DB: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama
DB: E.J. Gaines, Missouri
DB: Kenny Ladler, Vanderbilt
DB: Cody Prewitt, Ole Miss
K: Marshall Morgan, Georgia
P: Michael Palardy, Tennessee
KR: Solomon Patton, Florida
PR: Chris Davis, Auburn
At 19 years and 342 days old, Winston became the youngest Heisman Trophy winner when he was named college football's most outstanding player Saturday night in New York.
"I cannot explain the feeling that I have inside right now," Winston said. "I'm so overwhelmed. It's awesome."
When his name was announced, he popped from his seat and quickly made his way to his mom and dad for hugs and kisses. He smiled and laughed through most of his acceptance speech.
He talked about trusting in the "process" on the field and in life and "after all the things I've been through this past month." He got choked up a bit when talking about his parents.
"When you see your mom and you see your dad and they've been struggling through this whole process and now you see a smile on their face, it comforted me," he said later.
We've still got plenty to discuss in SEC country, however. Here's a sampling of what's going on around the league:
- Texas A&M's Board of Regents on Thursday approved a new contract for coach Kevin Sumlin that will pay him $5 million a year.
- Auburn's “Kick Six” was named the college football play of the year on Thursday at ESPN's College Football Awards show.
- Quarterback AJ McCarron on Thursday became the first Alabama player to win the Maxwell Award.
- Speaking of McCarron, he recently discussed how just before signing day 2009, he nearly flipped his commitment from Alabama to Oklahoma – the team he will face in his final college game.
- A scholarship crunch is affecting South Carolina's recruiting efforts for 2014.
- NOLA.com's Ron Higgins writes that Nick Saban has been there and done that when it comes to flirtations with other jobs. LSU's Skip Bertman can attest to that.
- The backup quarterbacks at Georgia and Nebraska are getting a grip on the starting jobs as their TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl matchup approaches.
- The Clarion Ledger's Hugh Kellenberger lists three storylines to watch as Ole Miss opens bowl practice today for the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl against Georgia Tech.
- Rice coach David Bailiff knows his team will have to prepare for the noisy distraction that cowbells can create before the Owls face Mississippi State in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.
- Since we last convened here at lunchtime Thursday, Florida landed commitments from a pair of ESPN 300 prospects.
- Athlon traces Auburn's bizarre path to Pasadena.
- In Orlando, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier aimed some jabs at schools in the state where he once coached Thursday at a news conference to promote the Capital One Bowl.
- Many members of Kentucky's recruiting “class to change the program” will gather this weekend in Lexington.
A few obvious choices were Texas A&M offensive lineman Jake Matthews and receiver Mike Evans, along with Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley and Missouri defensive end Michael Sam.
Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron was also listed as a first-team member, as was Alabama left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio. Even with Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston winning the Walter Camp Award and being the overwhelming favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, he was listed as a second-team member behind McCarron.
As for the second team, Mississippi State offensive lineman Gabe Jackson and South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney both made the cut.
Interestingly enough, Auburn running back Tre Mason, who rushed for more than 1,600 yards and had 23 total touchdowns didn't make either team, despite being a Heisman finalist.
After Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel became the first freshman to win the Heisman a year ago, it appears another freshman, Florida State’s Jameis Winston, is poised to take the trophy. But which quarterback had the better freshman campaign?
David Hale and Sam Khan Jr. take the debate to the Interwebs for your reading pleasure:
Take 1: Hale: Winston was consistent, even in biggest games
No matter what Winston accomplishes this season, there’s one thing Manziel will always have over him. Only one player can be the first freshman to win a Heisman, and that was Manziel. He was, to be sure, a worthy winner.
But beyond the history, the debate on which quarterback had the better freshman campaign is easy. It’s Winston.
And before anyone makes the strength-of-schedule argument, remember that Winston had a slightly higher adjusted QBR -- which takes into account myriad factors, including competition.
Sure, Manziel came out of nowhere to become a Heisman winner. But wasn’t there a lot more pressure on the much-hyped Winston to live up to those immense expectations?
Then let’s look at how each player fared in his biggest games.
Manziel played six games against ranked teams, and he won four. He completed 67 percent of his throws -- same as Winston -- but the rest of his stats were utterly pedestrian. He averaged just 7.5 yards per attempt, threw for seven TDs and had five interceptions.
Winston, on the other hand, won all four of his games against ranked teams handily. He averaged 11.8 yards per attempt and threw for 12 touchdowns with five INTs.
Winston wasn’t only at his best in big games, he simply never had a bad game. Manziel struggled mightily against Florida and LSU.
And Winston has the edge in the most important statistic: wins. The Seminoles are 13-0 and playing in the BCS National Championship next month. Manziel's season was great and the Aggies were a surprising 11-2 last year, but they didn't even get to a BCS bowl. Their season ended in the AT&T Cotton Bowl.
OK, so now we get to the obvious check mark in Manziel’s corner: his legs.
Admittedly, there’s no comparison here, and Manziel’s ability to run is the great equalizer in this debate. But it’s hardly fair to penalize Winston for looking to throw before he looks to run.
Winston put together a highlight reel of big throws that followed miraculous escape acts. His numbers when under pressure were by far the best in the nation. He managed to extend plays, completing an absurd 16 of 21 passes with four touchdowns and 15 first downs on third-and-10 or longer.
Does that make up for Manziel’s 21 rushing TDs and 1,400 rushing yards? Probably not, but a quarterback's primary jobs are to make throws and win games. Winston was head and shoulders ahead of Manziel in both areas.
Take 2: Khan: Manziel did it all, against tougher teams
Winston has lived up to the hype and that's hard to do. In my opinion, he has been college football's most outstanding player in 2013. In every big game, he delivered and he led his team to the BCS title game.
But there's no debate here. As terrific as Winston has been this season, Johnny Manziel's freshman campaign was better.
Yes, Winston's passing numbers are better. However, what Johnny Football did with his legs in 2012 is what set him apart, and it's what made him the toughest player to defend in college football. Winston hasn't run nearly as much because the Seminoles don't need him to (77 carries for 193 yards and four touchdowns), but that was a signature part of Manziel's game. He was a true dual threat. Manziel exploded for 1,410 yards and 21 touchdowns and led the SEC in rushing a year ago.
Not the leading rusher among quarterbacks. The leading rusher, period.
A&M needed that. Without that element of Manziel's game, the Aggies might not have beaten Louisiana Tech. They might not have beaten Alabama. The season would have been different.
Manziel broke Cam Newton's SEC single-season record for total offensive yards in a season, finishing with a whopping 5,116. And while Winston had more touchdown passes, Manziel had more total touchdowns with 47. Winston still has a chance to catch that total if he accounts for five touchdowns against Auburn in January.
And let's not forget A&M's schedule last year. A&M finished third in the country in the NCAA's "toughest schedule" rankings. The Sagarin ratings had the Aggies with the sixth-toughest schedule last year. The NCAA's schedule rankings are unavailable for this season, but for comparison's sake, Florida State's schedule is currently ranked 63rd in the Sagarin ratings. That's a huge difference.
Winston didn't have to face an LSU team that put five players from its front seven alone in the NFL draft. And even with that, Manziel and the Aggies still could have won that game (they lost 24-19). The best defenses Winston has faced were Florida (10th) and Clemson (23rd). Manziel faced three that finished in last year's top eight (Alabama, Florida, LSU).
And the best win -- at least to this point in time -- belongs to Manziel. Texas A&M's upset over then-No. 1 and eventual champ Alabama in Tuscaloosa was the epitome of Manziel's freshman campaign. He was virtually unstoppable. He threw for 253 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 92. Gaining 345 yards individually against a Nick Saban-coached defense? Simply amazing.
Winston has a chance at the crystal football. Manziel can't top that and there's no denying it. But that's more of a team accomplishment and there's not a ton Manziel can do about it.
If you were picking a team to go win a football game and both supporting casts were the same, which QB would you pick: 2012 Johnny Manziel or 2013 Jameis Winston? My guess is you're taking Johnny Football. He's done things on a football field that seemingly nobody else can.
Melina Vastola/USA TODAY SportsFlorida State fans have made their pick, but Jameis Winston is just one of six Heisman finalists.
Although the favorite entering the ceremony is Florida State QB Jameis Winston, all six have made a solid case for why they are the best player in the country this season.
QB Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois
Although Northern Illinois' bid to be a BCS buster was ended in the MAC championship game, Lynch’s dual-threat ability kept the Huskies in it all season. He had 321 rushing yards against Western Michigan, the most by a quarterback in FBS history, breaking his own record of 316 set earlier in the year against Central Michigan.
Lynch ended the season with 1,881 rushing yards, also an FBS record for a quarterback.
QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
Manziel’s bid to join Archie Griffin as the only other multiple Heisman winner saw a transformation of his game. While his 2012 season was built more on his legs, his 2013 campaign saw him develop as a passer.
Manziel added a yard to his yards per attempt (from 8.5 in 2012 to 9.5 in 2013). His touchdown percentage also increased from 6.0 percent in 2012 to 8.4 percent this year. Also in 2013, 63 percent of his completions this season have gone for a first down or a touchdown, compared to 57.6 percent last year.
RB Tre Mason, Auburn
Even after a 1,000-yard rushing season last year, Mason wasn't on the short list of Heisman contenders until he finished the season with five straight 100-yard rushing games, including 304 against Missouri in the SEC championship game, the fifth-highest total all-time in an SEC game.
Mason’s 2,137 all-purpose yards this season broke the Auburn school record, previously held by Bo Jackson. Mason’s 22 rushing TDs this season also set a school record.
QB AJ McCarron, Alabama
This is McCarron’s third season as Alabama’s starting quarterback, and he’s improved every season. His opponent-adjusted QBR was 76.7 in 2011, 81.5 in 2012 and 83.5 this season.
He was even better against SEC competition. In conference games, McCarron had an 86.4 opponent-adjusted QBR, tied for the best in the conference. Fellow Heisman candidate Manziel was third (85.5).
RB Andre Williams, Boston College
This season, Williams became just the 16th player in FBS history to run for at least 2,000 yards in a season, and the first since Donald Brown did so for Connecticut in 2008.
Williams also showed big-play ability. He had 26 runs of at least 20 yards, the most by an FBS player since Kevin Smith had 26 in 2007. His 11 touchdowns on such runs are the most for any player in the last 10 seasons.
QB Jameis Winston, Florida State
Winston is the clubhouse leader for the Heisman, and as the FBS leader in opponent-adjusted QBR (90.9), he has good reason to be. The leader in opponent-adjusted QBR in three of the last six seasons went on to win the Heisman, including Manziel last year.
Winston has also showed a clutch presence on the field throughout the year. On third downs, Winston has a 98.9 Total QBR, leading all FBS quarterbacks. Over the last 10 seasons, the highest third-down Total QBR in a completed season was also 98.9, by Andrew Luck in 2010.
Key stats: 3,732 passing yards, 69.1 percent completion rate, 33 touchdown passes; 686 rushing yards, eight rushing touchdowns.
Why he made it to NYC: Even though Manziel might not have had the best season of everyone in the race, he is still considered by many -- including opposing coaches -- to be the best player in college football. He's the most difficult to game plan for and hardest to defend because of his ability to keep a play alive with his feet, whether he's throwing the ball downfield or tucking it away to run. As a passer, he was better this year than he was last year when he won the Heisman. His passing yardage, completion percentage and touchdown passes were all up. His rushing totals were down; some of that was by design, some of that was his own doing trying to become a more patient passer and some of that had to do with his health, which deteriorated as the season concluded. Sure, Texas A&M was 8-4, which fell below the Aggies' lofty preseason expectations, but who knows what Texas A&M's record would have been this year without Manziel. He's still college football's most valuable player. Look at it this way: If you were building a team for this season and had the chance to choose your players, playground-pickup-basketball-style, it's hard to argue against a healthy Manziel being the first one picked.
Heisman moment: In all honesty, Manziel had his opportunity for a Heisman moment in the final two games, when the Aggies still had a chance at a BCS bowl. Had he gone into Death Valley and had a great performance against LSU and followed it with another at Missouri in back-to-back road victories to close out the season, he might be neck-and-neck with Jameis Winston or possibly even the favorite to win. In the spirit of actually trying to pick one from this season from Manziel, I would say it came in the 49-42 loss to Alabama on Sept. 14. Manziel threw for 464 yards and five touchdowns while rushing for 98 yards against Nick Saban and Kirby Smart's defense. Manziel wasn't mistake-free (he threw two interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown) but the Aggies don't stay in the game without Manziel [and Mike Evans]. You could make an argument for his performance in the 41-38 road win over Ole Miss, but the Rebels finished 7-5. Hard to have a Heisman moment against a team with that kind of record.
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M's board of regents approved coach Kevin Sumlin's new six-year contract during a special telephonic meeting Thursday, and the deal includes a handsome raise and a hefty buyout for the sixth-year coach.
The school announced that Sumlin's salary has been elevated to $5 million, up from the $3.1 million annual salary from the contract he signed in January on the heels of the Aggies' 11-2 debut season in the SEC. The deal will pay Sumlin $30 million over the next six years. It also includes a large buyout. If Sumlin leaves before the end of the 2016 season, he'll have to pay $5 million to get out of the deal.
A source told ESPN.com's Brett McMurphy that the buyout on Sumlin's end goes to zero after 2016. The school announced there is also a buyout clause if it terminates the deal without cause, and that clause extends though the length of the contract, which expires Dec. 31, 2019.
Despite an 8-4 season in which the Aggies didn't reach some of the lofty goals they had after entering the year with a preseason top-10 ranking, athletic director Eric Hyman made it clear that he's pleased with the direction of the program and wanted to show a strong long-term commitment to Sumlin.
Sumlin, who is 19-6 in his two seasons since taking over at Texas A&M and is 54-23 in his career, was reported to be a candidate for the USC coaching vacancy, which was eventually taken by Steve Sarkisian. He was also as a potential candidate for NFL openings this offseason before the Aggies announced they agreed in principle to a deal last month.
Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston was selected as the Walter Camp player of the year on Thursday, saying he was "overwhelmed" by the honor before later praising his team for the support it gave him during a trying month.
Winston had faced felony charges after being accused of sexually assaulting a female FSU student at an off-campus apartment on Dec. 7, 2012. But last week, state attorney Willie Meggs decided not to charge the Heisman Trophy favorite.
"I know I did nothing wrong," Winston said from the 23rd Home Depot College Football Awards in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
"People just got to realize that my family, and the coaches, and Coach (Jimbo) Fisher, they just supported me through this whole process, and I just feel so loved by that -- you just don't understand just how much that means to me."
The redshirt freshman is the second player from Florida State to win the Walter Camp award, joining quarterback Charlie Ward in 1993. Former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o won the Walter Camp last year.
The team was selected by the league's coaches, and coaches could not vote for players on their own team. Arkansas, Ole Miss and South Carolina led the way with four players each on the squad. Here it is in its entirety:
TE: Hunter Henry, Arkansas
OL: Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss
OL: Andrew Jelks, Vanderbilt
OL: Alex Kozan, Auburn
OL: Denver Kirkland, Arkansas
C: Jon Toth, Kentucky
WR: Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss
WR: Marquez North, Tennessee
QB: Maty Mauk, Missouri
RB: Alex Collins, Arkansas
RB: Kelvin Taylor, Florida
AP: Pharoh Cooper, South Carolina
DL: Chris Jones, Mississippi State
DL: A'Shawn Robinson, Alabama
DL: Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss
DL: Darius Philon, Arkansas
LB: Darian Claiborne, Texas A&M
LB: Leonard Floyd, Georgia
LB: Skai Moore, South Carolina
DB: Vernon Hargreaves, Florida
DB: Tony Conner, Ole Miss
DB: Tre'Davious White, LSU
DB: Cameron Sutton, Tennessee
PK: Elliott Fry, South Carolina
P: Johnny Townsend, Florida
RS: Pharoh Cooper, South Carolina
"We in our bowl game take great pride in letting teams play themselves into our game or play themselves out of our game," Stokan told the AP. "It's not some cigar smoke-filled room where we're sitting up making these decisions. It's the players that are making the decisions. ... Duke played [its] way into our game and [is] very deserving of being in our game."
The Blue Devils (10-3) will play No. 20 Texas A&M (8-4) on Dec. 31 in the Atlanta-based bowl.
Recruit Comparison: Murray to Allen
Final Washington State 45 Colorado State 48 Final 20 Fresno State 20 25 USC 45 Final Buffalo 24 San Diego State 49 Final Tulane 21 Louisiana-Lafayette 24
Final Pittsburgh 30 Bowling Green 27 Final Utah State 21 23 Northern Illinois 14
Final Marshall 31 Maryland 20 Final Syracuse 21 Minnesota 17 Final Brigham Young 16 Washington 31
Final Rutgers 16 Notre Dame 29 Final Cincinnati 17 North Carolina 39 Final Miami (FL) 9 18 Louisville 36 Final Michigan 14 Kansas State 31
Final Middle Tennessee 6 Navy 24 Final Ole Miss 25 Georgia Tech 17 Final 10 Oregon 30 Texas 7 Final 14 Arizona State 23 Texas Tech 37
Final Arizona 42 Boston College 19 Final Virginia Tech 12 17 UCLA 42 Final Rice 7 Mississippi State 44 Final 24 Duke 48 21 Texas A&M 52
Final Nebraska 24 22 Georgia 19 Final UNLV 14 North Texas 36 Final Iowa 14 16 LSU 21 Final 19 Wisconsin 24 9 South Carolina 34 Final 5 Stanford 20 4 Michigan State 24 Final 15 UCF 52 6 Baylor 42
Final 13 Oklahoma State 31 8 Missouri 41 Final 12 Clemson 40 7 Ohio State 35