With great success generally post-season honors follow and the 8th ranked Cougars learned on Wednesday that two of their finest are in the running for some very prestigious honors. Quarterback Gardner Minshew is a semi-finalist for the Davey O’Brien award given to the nation’s top signal caller and defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys has been nominated for the Broyles award given the nation’s top assistant coach.
Minshew joins 15 other quarterbacks as semi-finalists. This includes names such as Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama and Kyler Murray of Oklahoma. The award will be narrowed down to 3 players on November 19th before announcing a winner at Demcember 6th’s College Football Awards. Honestly, I would peg Minshew as one of the favorites to advance along with Tua and Murray. Justin Herbert was the only other Pac-12 quarterback nominated and former WSU commit Ian Book now at Notre Dame also made the cut. Luke Falk was part of this semifinalist group last year. Minshew is the nation’s leading passer with 3517 yards and has thrown for 27 touchdowns with 3 games still to be played.
Claeys was one of 53 coaches initially nominated for the Broyles award. The first year coordinator has taken a defense many expected to be a weakness for WSU this year and molded it into the conference’s fourth best. The Cougars also lead the Pac-12 in sacks. With all the coaching turnover in the off season and the loss of coordinator Alex Grinch to Ohio State Claeys has been a miracle worker this season. Three other Pac-12 defensive coordinators have been nominated along USC assistant head coach and former Cougar player Johnny Nansen. The other coordinators are ASU’s Danny Gonzalez, Tim DeRuyter of Cal and Utah’s Morgan Scalley. Hard to handicap something like this, but Claeys would certainly be deserving of making it to the next group.
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