Wearing Nebraska and Central Florida lapel pins, Scott Frost was awarded the 2017 Home Depot Coach of the Year award Thursday evening during ESPN’s college football awards show in Atlanta.
Frost, who was hired as Nebraska’s coach last weekend, told ESPN’s Chris Fowler on stage that the night wasn’t about his jump to NU, but about his players at UCF.
“Tonight is about the guys who helped us get to the Peach Bowl and who led us to be undefeated,” Frost said.
Frost led Central Florida to a 12-0 record and an American Athletic Conference title. Frost took over a UCF team that went 0-12 in 2015 after spending seven seasons as an assistant at Oregon. In 2016, UCF won six games. A year later, it climbed to No. 12 in the College Football Playoff rankings and finished the season undefeated for the first time. Frost is the first coach in college football history to take a team from winless to 12-0 in two seasons.
“I inherited a winless team but I inherited a lot of winners. I’m glad I can represent these guys today. It’s an honor to be up here representing the guys who made this happen,” Frost said. “I don’t know if this will ever be done again, from winless to undefeated, and this group I coached is truly a special group.”
The 1997 Husker quarterback from Wood River was hired away from UCF last Saturday by Nebraska. It’s been long detailed how hard of a decision it was for Frost to leave UCF. It even took a phone call from Nebraska legend Tom Osborne the night before accepting the job to sway Frost.
“All I’ll say is as long as I coach I hope I get a chance to have the connection with the team I had this year,” Frost said. “This is a group I’ll never forget.”
Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver won the Outland Trophy as the nation’s top interior lineman after making 69 stops from the middle of the Cougars’ three-man front. That ranks second in the nation among defensive tackles. He twice had double-digit tackle games and led the Cougars in tackles for loss (14.5), sacks (5.5), quarterback hurries (7) and forced fumbles (2).
Oliver will be honored Jan. 10 in Omaha during the annual Outland Trophy banquet at the Downtown DoubleTree.
The Outland banquet, being held in Omaha for the 21st year, will include former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden as winner of the Tom Osborne Legacy Award, and the three recipients of the Nebraska football senior awards.
Banquet information can be found at www.showofficeonline.com.
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield took home the biggest awards Thursday night, winning the Walter Camp and Maxwell awards as player of the year as well as the Davey O’Brien Award as the top quarterback.
Alabama strong safety Minkah Fitzpatrick won the Bednarik as the nation’s top defensive player. Also the winner of the Jim Thorpe Award as the top defensive back, he followed up his All-America season in 2016 with 52 tackles, seven pass breakups, three quarterback hurries, an interception, a forced fumble and a blocked field goal.
Stanford’s Bryce Love leads Power Five running backs in rushing (164.4 yards per game) and has gone for 100 yards or more in 11 games this season to tie the school record. His 12 runs of 50 or more yards are an FBS record. He set a school record with 301 yards on 25 carries against Arizona State. With a bowl game remaining, he needs 47 yards to break the single-season school record set by 2015 Heisman finalist Christian McCaffrey.
Oklahoma State’s James Washington is first in the nation with 1,423 receiving yards, and his 20 career 100-yard games are tied for most in school history. He scored 12 touchdowns this season and has caught a pass in 44 straight games, the second-longest streak in the nation.
Utah’s Matt Gay leads the nation in most major kicking categories, including a school-record 27 field goals, field goals per game (2.25), field goal attempts (31) and 50-yard field goals (5). He has made 87 percent of his attempts.
Texas punter Michael Dickson leads the country with his 48.4-yard average and 44.7-yard net average. He’s had 34 punts of more than 50 yards, 14 of more than 60 yards and a career-long 76-yarder against TCU. He has had 32 punts downed inside the 20-yard line.
Iowa won the Disney Spirit Award for its new tradition of fans in Kinnick Stadium waving to pediatric patients watching from across the street inside the Stead Family Children’s Hospital after the first quarter. … Oklahoma’s Mark Andrews won the John Mackey Award as the top tight end. … Ohio State’s Billy Price won the Rimington Award, named for Husker legend Dave Rimington, as the outstanding center. … Kentucky linebacker and former Husker Courtney Love won the Wuerffel Trophy for community service.