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Winston dominates college football awards

Dec. 12, 2013 at 9:35 PM   |   Comments

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Dec. 12 (UPI) -- Alabama's AJ McCarron denied Florida State's Jameis Winston a sweep of the major college football awards Thursday by winning the Maxwell Trophy.

McCarron, who came up short in his bid to quarterback Alabama to another national championship, captured the Maxwell in the final honor handed out at the annual awards ceremony held at Walt Disney World.

The Maxwell Trophy goes to college football's player of the year.

Winston, whose off-the-field problems late in the season clouded a spectacular season with the Seminoles, walked off with the Walter Camp Award and the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award.

Winston threw for 3,820 yards and 38 touchdowns during his freshman year, leading Florida State to an unbeaten regular season and a berth in the national championship game against Auburn. That game will be played Jan. 6, which is also Winston's 20th birthday.

As Winston climbed to the top of the college football world, a former classmate made a sexual battery allegation against him stemming from an incident a year ago.

Florida State Attorney Willie Meggs announced Dec. 5 there was not enough evidence to take the allegation to trial.

With his name cleared, it appeared likely he would sweep Thursday's big awards and he also became the heavy favorite to win the Heisman Trophy when it is awarded Saturday.

Winston, McCarron and 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M were the three nominees for both the O'Brien Award and the Maxwell Trophy.

The O'Brien Award was announced first during the ceremony and when Winston won that he became the automatic favorite to win the Maxwell.

Instead, it went to McCarron, who has a 36-3 record during his days with Alabama. He threw for 2,676 yards and 26 touchdowns this season. McCarron and Manziel are also finalists for the Heisman.

Pittsburgh linebacker Aaron Donald won two honors Thursday, capturing the Chuck Bednarik Award as the nation's top defensive player and the Outland Trophy as the top interior lineman.

Other award winners Thursday included:

-- Ray Guy Award (top punter): Tom Hornsey, Memphis.

-- Biletnikoff Award (top receiver): Brandin Cooks, Oregon State.

-- Lou Groza Award (top place kicker): Roberto Aguayo, Florida State.

-- Jim Thorpe Award (top defensive back): Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State.

-- Doak Walker Award (top running back): Andre Williams, Boston College.

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