Tua Tagovailoa and Josh Allen led the way in the SEC’s announcement of their 2018 regular season awards on Wednesday.
The much ballyhooed Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback in Tagovailoa, who will be up for the Heisman Trophy this Saturday in New York, won the Offensive Player of the Year award. Which... I mean, were you seriously expecting somebody else to win it? Don’t think so. Tua was incredible all season and was much deserving of this honor to say the absolute least.
Allen, meanwhile, did the Lord’s work for the Kentucky Wildcats and won the Defensive Player of the Year award. There is a reason why Allen won the Bronko Nagurski Award, folks. He picked up 14 sacks this season, a season-high in program history, and could very well take home more hardware before it’s all done and dusted, as well.
Mark Stoops did a fantastic job this season. And it is for that reason that he was named the SEC’s Coach of the Year. Stoops’ Wildcats surprised just about everybody by coming within a win against the Georgia Bulldogs away from representing the East Division in Atlanta. Stoops was an easy choice for this award and it only makes sense that he picked it up.
Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle was the recipient of the SEC Freshman of the Year award. Waddle racked up 41 receptions for 803 yards and seven touchdowns this season for the Tide. The Houston native certainly shined brightly and was definitely worthy of the honor and distinction. His teammate, Jonah Williams, won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy award, handed out to the best blocker in the conference. Also, Alabama’s Hale Hentges was named the Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Braden Mann of the Texas A&M Aggies is the Special Teams Player of the Year. Mann, a punter, averaged 51.1 yards per punt this season, a staggering number that certainly helped him pick up this award. He is the first Aggie to win the award since they joined the conference and is the first Aggie to win any award since Christian Kirk won SEC Freshman of the Year in 2015.