Texas QB rated among favorites for the Walter Camp Player of the Year award
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Ten players were tabbed as favorites for the prestigious Walter Camp Football Foundation Player of the Year award and University of Texas junior QB Chris Simms (Franklin Lakes, N.J./Ramapo HS) is one of them, the foundation announced on Wednesday.
Simms, who has thrown for 1,551 yards and 14 TDs (No.. 7 on UT's single-season chart) and run for four scores for the 6-1 and No. 7-ranked Longhorns this season, joins a list of favorites that includes eight quarterbacks and two running backs.
"We're really excited that Chris was chosen as one of the top 10 players in the country," Texas head coach Mack Brown said. "I really think it is indicative of the progress he has made since he stepped in for the Kansas game a year ago. Hopefully, this will help him have the confidence to continue to play at the level he has all season."
The award, which has been bestowed upon the nation's top player since 1967, is the fourth-oldest individual college football award in the country. The recipient is strongly viewed in the college football world as the favorite to capture the Heisman Trophy, which is awarded in December. Texas running back Ricky Williams claimed the 1998 WCFF Player of the Year en route to winning the Heisman Trophy.
"I'm really excited to be considered one of the candidates for the Walter Camp Player of the Year award," Simms said. "It's one of the most prestigious honors that a player can be considered for and is a testament to how well our offense has performed this season. When you look at the list of players and the offensive teams that are up for this year's award, it is extremely flattering that we are listed to be among them."
Walter Camp Football Foundation President Bernard Pellegrino stated that the Foundation annually honors the name of Walter Camp by selecting the premier player in college football along with selecting the nation's most time-honored All-America team dating back to 1889. Walter Camp, recognized as "The Father of American Football," introduced many innovations that brought about the evolution of the American style of football.
In addition to Simms, the list leading candidates for the 2001 Walter Camp Player of the Year award includes quarterbacks Ken Dorsey of Miami (Fla.), Eric Crouch of Nebraska, Joey Harrington of Oregon, Rex Grossman of Florida, David Carr of Fresno State, Woody Dantzler of Clemson and Eli Manning of Mississippi. Northwestern senior Damien Anderson, a 2000 Walter Camp All-America selection, and UCLA standout DeShaun Foster are the running backs.
The Walter Camp Player of the Year award recipient and members of the 2001 Walter Camp All-America team will be honored at the organization's national awards banquet on Feb. 9, 2001, at the Yale University Commons in New Haven.