LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- What promises to be a big weekend for Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota got off to a good start Thursday, when he won three major awards.
Mariota, a prohibitive favorite to win the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night, was busy during Thursday night's College Football Awards Show: He won the Davey O'Brien Award, given to the nation's top quarterback, and the Maxwell Award, which goes to the top player. Earlier in the day, he won the Walter Camp Award as the nation's top player.
Friday, he will be in Baltimore for the ceremony for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which he won Monday. Then it's on to New York for the Heisman ceremony.
Mariota described the whole award season experience as "surreal" in a media session Wednesday. Ultra-reserved as usual, Mariota also said he didn't like talking about himself and didn't like saying anything negative about anything.
Well, it's hard to say anything negative about Mariota this season. He has thrown for 3,773 yards and 38 touchdowns, and has added 669 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground. He has accounted for at least four TDs in 10 games this season and at least five four times. Perhaps the most staggering number, though: He has accounted for 53 touchdowns this season -- 38 passing, 14 rushing, one receiving. That is more than 94 teams have scored.
As for not liking talking about himself? Once he gets the Heisman on Saturday, that's going to have to change.
Here is a look at each award handed out at Thursday night's show.
Bednarik Award (top defender)
Biletnikoff Award (top receiver)
The finalists: Amari Cooper, Alabama; Rashard Higgins, Colorado State; Kevin White, West Virginia
Winner: Cooper. He is a Heisman finalist, and he leads the nation in receptions (115, an SEC single-season record) and receiving yards (1,656). Cooper also has 14 TD catches. He had 104 receptions for 1,736 yards and 15 TDs in his first two seasons combined.
Groza Award (top kicker)
Ray Guy Award (top punter)
Maxwell Award (top player)
Davey O'Brien Award (top quarterback)
Outland Trophy (top interior lineman)
Jim Thorpe Award (top defensive back)
Doak Walker Award (top running back)
Awards that were handed out before Thursday's ceremony:
» Camp (top player): Marcus Mariota, Oregon
» Lombardi (top lineman/linebacker): Scooby Wright, Arizona
» Rimington (top center): Reese Dismukes, Auburn
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.