With the end of season awards being handed out, a few Notre Dame players were robbed of the awards they deserved. Not everyone was disrespected as Kelly won Coach of the year and a few players were given All-American nods. Julian Love and Jerry Tillery were named first team and Alize Mack was named to the second team All-American. But that doesn’t make it better for some fighting Irish players.
The Jim Thorpe award was handed out to Deandre Baker, the DB out of Georgia. The Jim Thorpe Award is given yearly to the best defensive back in college football. Baker has been a great player all season, the only problem is Julian Love has been better. Love was in the top three during the final voting but ultimatly lost. Not only did Love set the career record for pass break ups, he had better stats all year.
Julian Love Stats DeAndre Baker
Pass Break ups: 15 9
Tackles: 61 40
Ints: 1 2
Fumble recoveries: 3 0
Touchdowns: 1 0
They clearly don’t tell the whole story but explain to me how Baker is more deserving. Like I said, it has nothing to do with Baker but more so that Love just had a Fantastic year. He should be celebrated and given the award that he deserves.
The Burlsworth trophy was also given to another player that had an Irish player in the running. The Burlsworth Trophy is given to the best player that started as a walk on. Chris Finke lost to Clemson receiver, Hunter Renfrow. Renfrow is also a great player but again, the stats didn’t quite match up.
Chris Finke Hunter Renfrow
Receptions: 47 43
Yards: 547 472
Touchdowns: 2 1
Another case of a Notre Dame player being passed over despite having better stats. Renfrow has been impressive over his time at Clemson but Finke has been vital at times this season. He was one of the best players in the USC game and kept the team moving. Finke also had a roll in the return game and had four carries for 20 yards. Renfrow didn’t have any carries or handle return duty. Finke was more then deserving of this award.
While some Notre Dame players were honored for their great seasons, some seemed to be snubbed. It could be some of that anti Notre Dame bias or just a lack of respect for what they have done. At the end of the day only one award really matters though, that is the National Championship. As much as I would love to see everyone appreciated Nationally, a championship will cure all ill will towards players getting robbed.
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Started Saturday Tailgate in 2018. I have covered college football since 2017, wrote for Saturday Tailgate and Fansided. Covering all things Big 12 from recruiting to opinions on the best conference in college football.