LSU finished 12-0 in the regular season for the first time since 2011 and are looking to end the season with 15 wins and a national championship. With monumental success comes the possibility of various hardware.
Starting with the man on the outside, sophomore wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase has shown he deserves to not simply be considered for the Biletnikoff Award for the country’s best receiver, he deserves to win.
Going into the Southeastern Conference Championship game against Georgia, Chase has 70 receptions for 1,457 yards, which is good for second in the nation, and a nation-leading 17 touchdowns. That is over 20 yards per catch, and he set the LSU record for receiving touchdowns in a single season.
His biggest opponent will be Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb who is an exceptional receiver with 50 receptions for 1,050 yards and 14 touchdowns. He will be a high draft pick in this year’s draft, but those numbers simply do not outshine Chase as he has the Sooner beat in every category and has made clutch catches to keep the Tigers in the driver’s seat for the National Championship game.
The most unlikely out of the group when the season started is junior running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, but how can you argue with his success?
He is a finalist for the Paul Hornung Award for the country’s most versatile player, and he embodies everything the “Golden Boy” stood for.
He has rushed for 1,233 yards and 16 touchdowns, while averaging 6.8 yards per carry.
That is only on the ground.
As a receiver, he has 338 yards and another touchdown to add to his breakout season.
He faces other finalists from Kentucky, Virginia, and Nebraska, but he should have this award locked up and ready to add to the extensive trophy case in Baton Rouge.
Another man that should easily take home some hardware is passing-game coordinator Joe Brady. He has been named a finalist for the Broyles Award for the best assistant coach in college football.
Brady has transformed LSU’s offense since he joined the staff in January. He has helped Joe Burrow from a good quarterback to one that holds the record for the yards in a season in SEC history and is tied for the most touchdowns in a season.
Brady has been a main factor for the Tigers having scored the most points in their history, and they are the only team ever with three 1,000-yard revivers, a 4,000-yard passer and a 1000-yard rusher.
Not to mention that they are 12-0, and it is not because of the defense. LSU’s offense did not simply improve from last year. Brady completely converted this program into the most explosive offense in the history of the SEC.
Another coach that always needs more praise is coach Ed Orgeron, who is in the running for the AP Coach of the Year in College football.
While Orgeron gets ridicule for not being the best coach for x’s and o’s, he makes up for it leaps and bounds by the care he shows for his players and the game. Graded as a low-quality hire, he has exceeded everything that LSU has set for him.
Knowing plays or not, he has a knack for detail and fitness and is the coach of the best team in the country. He deserves all the attention he is getting for the award and may end up winning it.
Lastly, Burrow could bring home four major trophies by himself. He is nominated for the Maxwell award for College Football’s best player, Davey O’Brien award for the nation’s best quarterback and the Heisman Trophy for the nation’s most outstanding player.
Burrow was announced as the winner of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award on Wednesday. The award is given to the top senior or fourth-year junior quarterback in college football.
Again, there is no reason that Burrow should not win every award that he is nominated for. He is second in the nation in yards with 4,366 and second in touchdowns with 44 and has done all this damage with a completion percentage of 78.3 percent.
Justin Fields and Jalen Hurts deserve to get national attention, but they are the second and third best quarterbacks, respectively.
The best aspect of all these players getting their due is that they primarily focused on two of these trophies—the SEC Championship trophy and the National Championship Trophy.
Now the only thing left to do is capture the two most important trophies left on the slate which starts with Georgia in Atlanta and Tiger nation can be certain that Chase, Edwards-Helaire and Burrow will look to increase those record-breaking paces and end the hopes of the Bulldogs playing in New Orleans.