One sure sign the college football season is winding down? The announcement of major award finalists.
Various organizations across the country announced on Tuesday evening which three players are in the running for some of college football's most prestigious hardware. Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon and Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott each were named finalists for two awards, and it's a good bet all three will also make it to New York City as finalists for the most prestigious award of them all, the Heisman Trophy.
Here's a look at the award finalists announced Tuesday:
Chuck Bednarik Award
Presented to the defensive player of the year in college football.
DE Vic Beasley, Clemson: Has recorded nine sacks for the nation's top total defense and is considered a top pass-rush prospect.
DE Joey Bosa, Ohio State: Leads the Big Ten in sacks (11.5) and tackles for loss (18). He set a school record, recording at least one TFL in 14 consecutive games.
LB Scooby Wright III, Arizona: The only player in the country who ranks in the top 25 in tackles (126), tackles for loss (22), sacks (12) and forced fumbles (5).
Presented to the most outstanding receiver.
WR Amari Cooper, Alabama: Set a number of school records for the Crimson Tide this season while ranking third in the country in yards (1,349) and fifth in touchdowns (11).
WR Rashard Higgins, Colorado State: Leads the country in receiving yards (1,447), touchdowns (15) and receiving yards per game (144.7).
WR Kevin White, West Virginia: The only finalist to rank in the top five in the country in yards (1,270) and receptions (98).
Lou Groza Award
Presented to the most outstanding kicker.
Roberto Aguayo, Florida State: The defending Groza Award winner, he has missed only three kicks during his entire career.
Brad Craddock, Maryland: The only kicker in the country who is perfect on the season in field goals (17 for 17).
Josh Lambert, West Virginia: Has kicked two game-winning field goals in 2014 and has nailed four from more than 50 yards out.
Ray Guy Award
Presented to the best punter.
Tom Hackett, Utah: Third in the country in punting average (46.5), he has more punts downed inside the 10-yard line than anybody else (19).
J.K. Scott, Alabama: Second in the country in punting average (46.8), the freshman has helped the Crimson Tide win the field position battle in every game.
Austin Rehkow, Idaho: Leads the country in punting average (47.8).
Presented to the college football player of the year.
QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon: Leads the country in passing efficiency (185.2) and is tied for the lead in points responsible for (252) as a dual-threat star for the Ducks.
QB Dak Prescott, Mississippi State: Largely responsible for the Bulldogs' sensational season, he's fifth in the nation in points responsible for (216).
Davey O'Brien Award
Presented to the nation's best quarterback.
Trevone Boykin, TCU: Third in all of the FBS in total offense per game (356.9) and has scored at least two touchdowns in all but two games this season.
Presented to the best interior lineman.
DT Malcom Brown, Texas: Leads the Longhorns in sacks (6.5) and tackles for loss (14) on a defense that ranks in the top 25 in just about every category.
C Reese Dismukes, Auburn: Starting center for one of the best rushing offenses in the country.
OT Brandon Scherff, Iowa: One of the most dominant left tackles in the country, he's just as adept in run blocking as he is in pass protection.
Jim Thorpe Award
Presented to the best defensive back.
S Landon Collins, Alabama: One of the hardest-hitting players in any secondary, he's a force all over the field.
CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon: A lockdown senior cornerback whom quarterbacks go out of their way to avoid.
CB Gerod Holliman, Louisville: Leads the country in interceptions (13) and is just two away from breaking the single-season record.
Doak Walker Award
Presented to the best running back.
Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska: Fourth in the FBS in all-purpose yards per game (171.27) as a between-the-tackles runner who is a pass-catching threat out of the backfield.
Tevin Coleman, Indiana: Second in the country in rushing yards (1,906) despite being the Hoosiers' lone offensive threat.
Presented to the top tight end.
Nick O'Leary, Florida State: A repeat finalist for the award, the Seminoles tight end is often Jameis Winston's top target in the passing game.
Clive Walford, Miami: The senior leads the Hurricanes in receptions and is second on the team in yards as one of the most athletic players at the position in the country.
Maxx Williams, Minnesota: Just a sophomore, Williams leads the team in nearly every receiving category while serving a big role in the blocking scheme for the Gophers' productive rushing attack.
Presented to the top linebacker.
Eric Kendricks, UCLA: Leads the Bruins in tackles while doubling as a senior playmaker for a top defensive unit.
Hau'oli Kikaha, Washington: The senior leads the FBS in sacks and tackles for loss while also racking up two forced fumbles in 2014.
Denzel Perryman, Miami: One of the hardest hitters in the nation, Perryman has 96 tackles while breaking up four passes when dropping into coverage.
Jake Ryan, Michigan: Second in the Big Ten in tackles while also dropping opponents 13 times in the backfield this year and forcing four fumbles.
Jaylon Smith, Notre Dame: A key part of the Irish defense, Smith has two sacks and 89 tackles as one of the most athletic outside linebackers in the country.