I-A College Football
 
 
                     === Dorm Report: Getting defensive ===
 
 By Phil Neuffer, Associate College Football Editor
 
 Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - It isn't just on the offensive side of the
 ball that the college football world dishes out hardware for exemplary
 efforts.
 
 The following awards are the most coveted and prestigious for players that
 makes stops on Saturdays, as well as the best in special teams performance.
 
 A year ago Notre Dame's Manti Te'o filled his trophy case with a lot of these
 awards. Now its time to forecast the 2013 season.
 
 DICK BUTKUS AWARD - C.J. Mosley, Alabama
 
 Nick Saban has achieved a dynasty in Tuscaloosa over the last few seasons, as
 Alabama has hung its hat on dominant defense year after year. A big part of
 that has been the play of the Crimson Tide's linebacking corps. Names like
 Rolando McClain and Dont'a Hightower come to mind. Mosley should be on that
 list and if he isn't yet, he will be after this season. A year ago Mosley was
 a unanimous First-Team All-American, while also being named to the All-SEC
 First-Team. In a conference filled to the brim with disruptive defenders,
 Mosley is a versatile linebacker that excels in coverage. Though his numbers
 may not leap of the page (107 tackles, 8.0 TFL, 4.0 sacks) there is no doubt
 Mosley is at the top of his class.
 
 RUNNER UP - Anthony Barr, UCLA
 
 DARK HORSE - Kyle Van Noy, BYU
 
 JIM THORPE AWARD - Bradley Roby, Ohio State
 
 The hype surrounding the Buckeyes entering this season is at an absolute
 fever pitch. A huge part of that anticipation is the return of the explosive
 Bradley Roby. The 5-foot-11 cornerback was one of several defenders for Urban
 Meyer's unit that helped the Buckeyes to a perfect 12-0 record. Roby is a
 shut-down corner that covers ground quickly and anticipates well. He showed
 that plenty of times a year ago, en route to being named a semifinalist for
 this same award. In 2012 Roby led the Buckeyes with 19 passes defended while
 also collecting a pair of interceptions. Roby also doesn't shy away from
 making hits as he ranked third for the Buckeyes in tackles with 62, 41 of
 which were solo. He was recently arrested for an altercation at bar in
 Bloomington, Indiana and subsequently did not attend the Big Ten media event
 in Chicago. As long as he doesn't miss any playing time this year as a result,
 he remains the favorite for this award.
 
 RUNNER UP - Jason Verrett, TCU
 
 DARK HORSE - Calvin Pryor, Louisville
 
 VINCE LOMBARDI/ROTARY AWARD - Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
 
 This award goes to the nation's most outstanding offensive or defensive end-
 to-end down lineman or any linebacker who sets up no farther than five yards
 from the line of scrimmage. A defensive linemen has not won the award since
 2010 (Auburn's Nick Fairley), but that drought should end this year in the
 form of South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney. Considered by many as the best
 player in college football, last year's Hendricks Award winner (best defensive
 end) is the odds on favorite, Clowney is as close to a sure thing to collect
 any and all defensive awards he is nominated for, as there has been in recent
 memory. A unanimous All-American in 2012, Clowney surprised some by returning
 to school but that should just work into the Gamecocks' favor.
 
 RUNNER UP - C.J. Mosley, Alabama
 
 DARK HORSE - Will Sutton, Arizona State
 
 BRONKO NAGURSKI AWARD - Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
 
 If 2013 works out how just about any person with an ounce of knowledge on
 college football thinks, the 2013 campaign will be dominated by one name;
 Clowney. An absolutely ferocious defensive end, Clowney already projects as
 the No. 1 pick in next year's NFL Draft and with another year under his belt,
 will lay waste to the challenging SEC. Though Johnny Manziel and Manti Te'o
 stole the headlines a year ago, Clowney still made a ton of noise out of
 Columbia with 13.0 sacks and an astounding 23.5 tackles for loss. The Nagurski
 award has gone to a lineman five times since it was first awarded in 1993.
 Clowney will make that number grow to six.
 
 RUNNER UP - C.J. Mosley, Alabama
 
 DARK HORSE - Jason Verrett, TCU
 
 CHUCK BEDNARIK - Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
 
 The Chuck Bednarik Award does not have a history of being handed to defensive
 linemen. Only Ndamukong Suh and Julius Peppers can claim the honor since the
 award's inception in 1995. That won't matter for Clowney assuming he can
 shoulder the pressure that the offseason hype as laid on his shoulders. At 6-
 foot-6 and 274 pounds, Clowney certainly has the build to hold up against just
 about any test. Perhaps the best person to ask about Clowney's ability as a
 defender is former Michigan running back Vincent Smith. The now iconic hit
 Smith took from Clowney in the backfield during the Outback Bowl was replayed
 on highlight shows for months on end and has just fueled the fire surrounding
 Clowney.
 
 RUNNER UP - C.J. Mosley, Alabama
 
 DARK HORSE - Kyle Van Noy. BYU
 
 LOU GROZA AWARD - Cairo Santos, Tulane
 
 Its pretty easy to see why Santos should be the favorite for this award this
 season. Santos already has a Groza Award in his trophy case. In a stellar 2012
 campaign, Santos went a perfect 21-for-21 on field goals, while knocking in
 all but one of 27 PAT attempts. Santos wasn't just hitting chip shots. Of his
 21 field goals made, a national-best 12 came from beyond 40 yards, including a
 school-record 57-yard bomb. Perhaps the biggest obstacle Santos faces is
 precedence, as there has not been a back-to-back winner of this award since
 Sebastian Janikowski in 1998-99.
 
 RUNNER UP - Chandler Catanzaro, Clemson
 
 DARK HORSE - Jeremiah Detmer, Toledo
 
 RAY GUY AWARD - Kyle Christy, Florida
 
 Christy was a semifinalist for this award last season but watched it go to
 Louisiana Tech's Ryan Allen, who led the nation in punting average. Of the
 top five punters in terms of average per boot last season, only Christy (45.8)
 remains in the college ranks. That puts the 6-foot-2 junior at the top of the
 front-runner list for the Ray Guy Award. Christy's punt average in 2012
 set a school record while he is also in the program's history books for the
 highest yards-per-punt average (54.3) in a single game after his effort
 against South Carolina next season. Christy's numbers were certainly
 impressive and enough to earn him All-SEC First-Team honors. There could be
 even more this year.
 
 RUNNER UP - Kirby Van Der Camp, Iowa State
 
 DARK HORSE - Colter Johnson, Massachusetts
 
 
 
 
 07/23 09:48:54 ET

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