Stayin Sharp with Evan Sharpley. Irish rack up post-season awards.

Irish rack up post-season awards

Kelly Earns ACC Coach of the Year From Conference

On the heels of his selection as ACC Coach of the Year by the Bear Bryant Award and the Associated Press, Dick Corbett Head Football Coach Brian Kelly has won ACC Coach of the Year, as awarded by the conference and voted on by conference coaches and media.

In his 30th season as a collegiate head coach in 2020 and 11th year at the University of Notre Dame, Kelly owns the second-most wins (102ˆ) among all head coaches in Notre Dame’s history, second only to Knute Rockne (105), and Kelly is the winningest active coach in the FBS with 273ˆ career wins.

Kelly has posted threeˆ undefeated regular seasons in his time at Notre Dame. He was named AP ACC Coach of the Year in 2020, and is the only three-time winner of the Home Depot Coach of the Year Award (‘09, ‘12, ‘18). With 10 or more wins in 2012ˆ, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, Kelly is the only Notre Dame coach to hit the double-digit mark in wins six times.

In 2020, he notched his first win over an AP No. 1 team with the 47-40 win over Clemson (Nov. 7, 2020). With the 52-0 shoutout of South Florida, he became the third coach in Notre Dame history with three or more wins of at least 25 points over ranked teams, joining Lou Holtz and Frank Leahy (eight).

He joins Rockne (13), Leahy, Ara Parseghian and Holtz (11) as the only Notre Dame coaches to spend 11 or more seasons on the Irish sidelines. He ranks second in winning percentage among active FBS coaches (.741ˆ) who have coached in 300 or more career games (Nick Saban - .795). He has finished .500 or better in 28-of-30 seasons as a head coach.

Owusu-Koramoah Wins Butkus Award for Nation's Top Linebacker

Capping a senior season as one of the best defensive players in the nation, Notre Dame senior linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah has won the 2020 Butkus Award, which honors the top linebacker in college football. He joins a rich tradition of high-level linebacker play at Notre Dame over the last decade, with Manti Te’o (2012) and Jaylon Smith (2015) also being named Butkus Award winners in their time under the Dome.

Owusu-Koramoah Named Finalist for Lott IMPACT Trophy

Notre Dame linebacker Owusu-Koramoah has been named a finalist for the 17th annual Lott IMPACT Trophy, which honors the best defensive player in college football based on character and play. It is the first college football trophy to give equal weight to personal character, as well as athletic performance.

A unanimous All-American and the 2020 Butkus Award winner, Owusu-Koramoah was also named ACC Defensive Player of the Year. He was a finalist for the Bednarik Award and Nagurski Award. The senior earned All-ACC First Team honors from the conference and Associated Press. In addition, Owusu-Koramoah is a finalist for the Bowden Trophy, which honors a player who best represents the student-athlete.

Owusu-Koramoah was Notre Dame’s 35th unanimous All-American in program history, the first since Quenton Nelson in 2017, and the first Irish defense player since Manti Te’o in 2012. Te’o was also Notre Dame’s most recent Butkus Award winner prior to Owusu-Koramoah.

The senior totaled 62 tackles (42 solo), 11.0 TFL, 1.5 sacks, one interception, three PBU, two FR and three FF on the season, leading Notre Dame’s defense to be among the best in the nation in third-down defense, rushing defense and scoring defense. Owusu-Koramoah himself ranks tied for 12th among all FBS players with two fumble recoveries this season. He ranks tied for eighth among all ACC players in forced fumbles (0.25 per game).

The winner of the Lott IMPACT Trophy will be announced February 21. The Lott IMPACT Trophy was named in honor of Ronnie Lott, a two time All-American for USC and College Football Hall of Fame Inductee.

Williams Selected to FWAA Freshman All-America Team

University of Notre Dame redshirt freshman running back Kyren Williams has been selected to the FWAA Freshman All-America Team for his 2020 performance. His selection marks the second-consecutive honor for an Irish freshman, as safety Kyle Hamilton earned the honor in 2019.

Williams has already been announced as a finalist for the Shaun Alexander/FWAA Freshman Player of the Year Award. He is one of three finalists chosen from a group of seven semifinalists for the honor.

Williams, the ACC Rookie and Offensive Rookie of the Year, made a definitive mark on Notre Dame’s offense, and created a challenging matchup for defenses from across the FBS, in 2020. He was the only freshman to surpass 1,000 rushing yards on the year, totaling 1,125 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns, the most rushing TDs among any freshman player. Williams reached the 100-yard rushing mark in six games this season.

The rookie also added 35 receptions (ranking third on the Irish offense) for 313 yards and a touchdown. His 14 total touchdowns lead all FBS freshmen.

Among all FBS players, he is T-10th in rushing TDs, T-11th in total TDs and ninth in rushing yards. In the ACC, Williams ranks fourth in rushing yards per game (93.8), fourth in scoring – TDs (7.0 points/game) and fifth in all-purpose yards per game (119.83).

A semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award, Williams earned an ACC weekly honor five times out of ten possible games this season, and was named All-ACC Second Team running back by the conference, also claiming honorable mention for the all-purpose slot. He was also selected to the Phil Steele All-America Third Team.

Of the Top 10 rushers in the ACC in 2020, which included Williams, the Irish faced six (facing one twice and two in the same game): North Carolina’s Javonte Williams and Michael Carter, Clemson’s Travis Etienne, Duke’s Mataeo Durant, Florida State’s Jordan Travis and Syracuse’s Sean Tucker. Notre Dame’s defense has limited those six Top-10 running backs to an average of 63.0 yards (441 yards total on 94 carries) and just four total touchdowns among the six. Carter, who leads the ACC with 113.2 rushing yards per game, was held to just 57 vs. Notre Dame. By comparison, in those six games, Williams posted at least 100 rushing yards in five, averaging 121.3 yards (728 yards total on 119 carries), with a total of 10 touchdowns.

Irish Notch Three ACC Player of the Year Nods

Capping off Notre Dame’s first season in a conference, the Irish have claimed three Player of the Year honors from the ACC. Linebacker Owusu-Koramoah has been tabbed as ACC Defensive Player of the Year, while running back Williams earned both Rookie of the Year and Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.

Four Irish Named Walter Camp All-Americans

Four Notre Dame Football student-athletes earned nods to the Walter Camp All-America team, the final of the five major selections. Graduate student offensive lineman Liam Eichenberg and senior linebacker Owusu-Koramoah were named to the first team, and senior offensive lineman Aaron Banks and sophomore safety Kyle Hamilton were selected to the second team.

The first-team selection for Owusu-Koramoah completes a clean sweep of the five major All-America first teams, making him Notre Dame’s 36th unanimous All-American in program history. He is the first Irish player to earn the honor since Quenton Nelson in 2017, and the first Notre Dame defensive player since Manti Te’o in 2012.

The Walter Camp nod represents the fourth first-team nod (of five) in 2020 for Eichenberg. Both he and Banks (two first-team selections) are consensus All-Americans for 2020. The three consensus All-Americans for the Irish bring Notre Dame’s program total to 105.

2020-21 marks the 131st edition of the Walter Camp All-America team – the nation’s oldest All-America team. Originating in 1889 with eleven players, it has since grown to include offensive, defensive and special teams individuals, also adding a second team in 1998.

First Team
  • Liam Eichenberg – Totaling 38-consecutive starts on his career, Eichenberg has been tabbed as one of the best linemen in the country, being named a finalist for the Outland Trophy and recipient of the ACC’s Jacobs Blocking Trophy. He is a consensus All-American, having already been named to the Sporting News, FWAA and AFCA All-America first teams in 2020. He was twice named ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week, and was a member of an offensive line unit that was a finalist for the 2020 Joe Moore Award. He was also named first team All-ACC by the conference.
  • Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
Second Team
  • Aaron Banks – Banks has racked up 31-career starts and is a consensus All-American for 2020, having been named to the Associated Press and AFCA All-America first teams. He was named ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week for his performance vs. Clemson (11/7). Selected to the All-ACC First Team, Banks is part of an offensive line that led the ACC and ranks seventh in the FBS in time of possession, controlling the ball for 33:56 minutes of game time and winning the time of possession battle in 11-of-12 games this season. The 33:56 time of possession average leads the ACC by more than two minutes per game.
  • Kyle Hamilton – An All-ACC First Team selection (chosen by the conference) and Bednarik Award semifinalist, sophomore Kyle Hamilton leads the Irish defense with 63 tackles (51 solo) in 2020, even with only 11 games played. Along with a 14-yard interception vs. Clemson in the ACC Championship, he has posted six PBUs, 4.5 TFL and two QB hits. He was selected to the FWAA All-America First Team and the Associated Press All-America Third Team.

Five Irish Named Phil Steele All-Americans, 13 Tabbed All-ACC

Five Notre Dame student-athletes were selected to Phil Steele’s All-America teams, in addition to two honorable mentions. Those five join a total group of 13 Irish players who earned All-ACC team honors from Phil Steele.

Graduate student offensive lineman Eichenberg, senior linebacker Owusu-Koramoah and sophomore safety Hamilton were named first-team All-American, while redshirt freshman running back Williams and senior offensive lineman Banks claimed third-team honors. Graduate student offensive lineman Tommy Kraemer and junior offensive lineman Jarrett Patterson earned honorable mentions for the All-America teams.

On the All-ACC teams, Patterson, Banks, Eichenberg, Owusu-Koramoah and Hamilton all claimed first-team conference honors. Williams and Kraemer were named to the second team. They were joined by graduate student wide receiver Javon McKinley, senior offensive lineman Robert Hainsey, senior defensive lineman Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa and graduate student cornerback Nick McCloud on the third team, and graduate student quarterback Ian Book and freshman tight end Michael Mayer on the fourth team.

First Team All-America
  • Liam Eichenberg
  • Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
  • Kyle Hamilton
Third Team All-America
  • Aaron Banks
  • Kyren Williams
Honorable Mention All-America
  • Tommy Kraemer
  • Jarrett Patterson – Patterson, a member of both the Outland and Rimington Trophy Watch Lists, earned a nod after only being able to play in eight games this season. Sidelined due to injury, Patterson’s performance in those eight games was impressive, and he finished 2020 with 21-career starts under his belt, while being named by the conference to the All-ACC Third Team.
First Team All-ACC
  • Jarrett Patterson
  • Aaron Banks
  • Liam Eichenberg
  • Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
  • Kyle Hamilton

Second Team All-ACC

  • Kyren Williams
  • Tommy Kraemer
Third Team All-ACC
  • Javon McKinley – McKinley led the Irish in receiving yards (717), while tying for the lead in receptions (42) in 2020. He added three receiving touchdowns. Noting All-ACC Honorable Mention recognition from the conference, he was named ACC Receiver of the Week for his performance against Syracuse in the regular season finale. McKinley also posted one rush for 15 yards.
  • Robert Hainsey – Hainsey, a mainstay on the Irish O-Line and selected by the conference as All-ACC Second Team, was a rare two-time team captain, and was a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award, also being named Senior CLASS Award First Team All-America. He was named ACC co-Offensive Lineman of the Week for his performance vs. South Florida, and has totaled 34-career starts. Also returning from a season-ending injury in 2019, Hainsey is a member of a line that has paved the way for a 1,000-yard rusher in Williams, and two additional players who have totaled more than 480 rushing yards on the season (RB Chris Tyree – 496, QB Ian Book – 485).
  • Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa
  • Nick McCloud – A graduate transfer, McCloud quickly became a consistent presence for Notre Dame’s starting defense. Named to the Pro Football Focus Team of the Week for his performance at Pitt, McCloud totaled a team-leading eight PBUs, as well as 33 tackles (22 solo), 2.0 TFL, one interception and two fumble recoveries. His fumble recoveries rank tied for 12th among all FBS players and third in the ACC. He was previously named third team All-ACC by the conference.
Fourth Team All-ACC
  • Ian Book – The winningest quarterback in Notre Dame history (30-5), Book has completed 228 passes for 2,830 yards and 15 touchdowns, also adding 116 rushes for 485 yards (ranks third on the team). The graduate student and team captain won the 2020 Pop Warner National College Football Award, and was named third team All-ACC by the conference. He is a finalist for the Manning Award, as well as a semifinalist for the Maxwell, Davey O’Brien and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm awards, while finishing in the Top 10 in Heisman voting.
  • Michael Mayer – True freshman Michael Mayer ties for the lead on the Irish offense with 42 receptions, totaling 450 yards, adding two touchdowns. His 42 receptions in 2020 are the most in a single season by a Notre Dame true freshman tight end in Irish history, and rank tied for seventh among all Notre Dame tight ends for single-season receptions. He was named to the Pro Football Focus Team of the Week at Pitt and to the FWAA Freshman All-American Watch List, and was selected by the conference to the All-ACC Third Team.

Four Notre Dame Standouts Earn AFCA All-America Honors

On the fourth of five major All-America lists, the Irish again notch multiple mentions, now on the AFCA All-America teams. Graduate student offensive lineman Eichenberg, senior offensive lineman Banks and senior linebacker Owusu-Koramoah earned spots on the first team, while sophomore safety Hamilton claimed the honor on the second team.

Eichenberg and Owusu-Koramoah, already consensus All-Americans, notch their third and fourth All-America honors, respectively. Banks marks his second first-team All-America honor this season, officially cementing his place as a consensus All-American.

First Team
  • Liam Eichenberg
  • Aaron Banks
  • Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
Second Team
    • Kyle Hamilton

Three Irish Players Named to FWAA All-America First Team

Three Irish student-athletes have been selected to the FWAA All-America team for 2020. Senior linebacker Owusu-Koramoah, sophomore safety Hamilton and graduate student offensive lineman Eichenberg all earned nods to the first team.

Owusu-Koramoah, already a consensus All-American, notches his third All-America first team selection of the season, with two remaining teams to be released. Eichenberg earns his second All-America First Team nod, officially making him a consensus All-American for 2020.

First Team
  • Liam Eichenberg
  • Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
  • Kyle Hamilton

Five Irish Players Garner AP All-American Honors

Notre Dame senior linebacker Owusu-Koramoah and senior offensive lineman Banks were named to the Associated Press All-America First Team, as graduate student offensive lineman Eichenberg was named to the second team and graduate student offensive lineman Kraemer and sophomore safety Hamilton claimed third-team honors.

First Team
  • Aaron Banks
  • Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
Second Team
  • Liam Eichenberg
Third Team
  • Kyle Hamilton
  • Tommy Kraemer
Share

Leave a comment