The nineteen 84th Annual Sullivan Award nominees proved to be an excellent group, both for their accomplishments in their sport and their communities. Four of the nineteen nominees were college football players, including the winner of the AAU Sullivan Award, John Urschel. All four college football athletes were selected in the 2014 NFL Draft.
John Urschel, the winner of the 2013 AAU Sullivan Award, was chosen in the 5th round as the 175th pick overall by the Baltimore Ravens. The offensive guard was the team captain at Penn State and was obtaining his master’s degree in Math with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
Blake Bortles, quarterback at the University of Central Florida, was drafted third overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Bortles had a great season, leading his team to the Fiesta Bowl, UCF’s first bowl game appearance. In the Fiesta Bowl, Bortles and his Knights upset the Baylor Bears, notching their first BCS Bowl victory in school history and making UCF the youngest football program to ever win a BCS Bowl game.
Quarterback of the Alabama Crimson Tide, AJ McCarron, was picked in the fifth round as the 164th overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals. In his senior year at Alabama, he was the recipient of the Maxwell Award, which recognizes the college football player of the year, and the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. The Alabama team captain finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting and had a 36-4 record in 40 career starts.
Last but certainly not least, Tre Mason of the Auburn Tigers was chosen in the third round as the 75th overall pick by the St. Louis Rams. The senior running back was a Heisman Trophy finalist and broke the SEC-high rushing yardage total. He set the school single-season records for all-purpose yards and rushing touchdowns and won SEC Offensive Player of the Year. He capped off his spectacular senior year with 195 rushing yards versus the Florida State Seminoles, the most ever for a running back in a BCS Championship Game.
Congratulations to John Urschel, Blake Bortles, AJ McCarron and Tre Mason and we can’t wait to see what your NFL future holds!
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