We are over halfway done with the Inaugural Webfoot Awards here at ATQ, and it's time to declare a 'Newcomer of the Year.'
Be sure to vote at the end of the article, and the winner will be announced this Friday. To the nominees!
Did I specifically request this award so I would have another excuse to talk about Royce Freeman? No comment.
Freeman had an incredible freshman season for the Ducks, rushing for 1,365 yards and 18 touchdowns while averaging 5.4 yards per carry for the season. After having such a great first year, Freeman took home the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year award. But where Freeman really made his mark was how he amassed those totals. Freeman has been referred to as a "bowling ball with eyes," and I will say that description couldn't be more accurate. For example:
That is exactly how a bowling ball would carry a football.
And as if Freeman needed any bonus points, his best game of the season was a 169 yard, 4 touchdown performance against washington.
If there was a Webfoot Award for surprise team of the year, the men's basketball team would probably have taken the award home. A key member of that team was freshman Dillon Brooks. Brooks averaged 11.5 points and 4.9 rebounds on the season, giving him the third highest freshman points per game in the entire Pac-12. Brooks was named to the All-Freshman Pac-12 team.
Brooks was selected to represent Canada in the Pan-Am games this summer, where he did stuff like this:
Devon Allen is an interesting candidate for this award. As a football player, the 2014/15 season was Allen's coming out party as a redshirt freshman. Allen caught 41 passes for 440 yards and 7 touchdowns, giving him an average of 19 yards per catch. He made numerous big catches, including a memorable touchdown against Michigan State.
This enough would be enough to earn a nomination for this award. But if we are allowed to bend the rules and include Allen's freshman year track accomplishments, then as the saying goes, the cheese gets a little more binding.
As a runner, Allen won both the NCAA and USATF 110 hurdles, setting the second best time in the history of the NCAA.