(UHND.com) – Brady Quinn probably won’t leave New York with the Heisman Trophy Saturday night, but he left the Home Depot College Football Awards Show with the Maxwell Trophy over Troy Smith and Ray Rice. Smith didn’t leave empty handed though after walking away with the Walter Camp and Davey O’Brien Awards over Quinn.
The Maxwell Award is the second major award for Quinn in the last week, after the senior won the Unitas Award last week as the nation’s top senior quarterback. The Maxwell, however, was special for Quinn since it was his second head to head victory over Troy Smith in post season awards.
Earlier this week Quinn was named a finalist for the Heisman, but it is widely considered that Smith has that award all but locked up. Should Smith win the Heisman, it will mark the seventh season in a row in which the Maxwell winner was different than the Heisman winner. The last player to win both the Maxwell and Heisman Awards in the same season was Ron Dayne back in 1999. Jason White won the Maxwell in 2004, the year after he won the Heisman for Oklahoma.
Quinn himself acknowledged that Smith is the likely winner Saturday when he responded to Chris Fowler’s rather inappropriate question of whether or not Brady thought it was an upset that Smith didn’t win when he said he thinks Smith will do pretty well Saturday night.
It was nice to see Quinn walk home with a prestigious award like the Maxwell after having the season and career he had for the Irish. Despite not having a strong running game or dominant offensive line like his counterpart, Smith, Quinn battled all season long and was literally the difference between a 10-2 season and a 8-4 season for Notre Dame.
It was also nice to see Troy Smith give Quinn props for being the first to shake his hand after he won the Davey O’Brien Award and then himself giving Quinn a nice ovation when he was named the Maxwell Award winner. Smith had a smile on his face and gave Quinn a nice round of applause which I thought was pretty classy of the Buckeye quarterback.
Quinn talked a little bit about the rivalry between he and Smith that started with the Fiesta Bowl last year and it appears they both have a lot of respect for each other which is always refreshing to see in the age of big ego athletes.
Quinn is the fifth Notre Dame alum to win the award and the first in nearly 30 years. The last Golden Domer to win the award was Ross Browner in 1977. Prior to Browner, James R. Lynch won the award in 1966, John Lattner in 1952 & 1953, and Leon Hart in 1949.
Samardzija Loses Biletnikoff Again
Jeff Samardzija was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award for the second year in a row, but lost out to Calvin Johnson of Georgia Tech. You really can’t argue with the selection of Johnson who is a freakish athlete and would put up insane numbers in most other offenses. Had Samardzija put up similar numbers this year as he did in 2005, he probably would have won the award this year, but with his touchdowns and yardage down considerably this year, it’s easy to see how Johnson won.
Carlson Edged out for Mackey Award
Senior tight end John Carlson had a breakout season that saw him rise from rarely used backup to potential first day draft pick, but he came up short in the Mackey Award, losing out to Minnesota’s Matt Spaeth. Despite having slightly better numbers than Spaeth, in less games, against a tougher schedule, Carlson did not take home the hardware. Carlson’s out of nowhere season could have played a role since these awards tend to be career achievements as much as they are individual season awards.
Should Carlson return for a fifth year in 2007, he will be the early favorite for the Mackey Award and would like take home the award with similar numbers.