For the second consecutive year Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson has been named a semifinalist for the AAU Sullivan Award. The honor has been presented each year since 1930 to the outstanding amateur athlete in the United States by the Amateur Athletic Union.
Watson is the only college football player among the 18 semifinalists. He led Clemson to the national championship this past season and was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy for the second consecutive year. He won the Unitas Award, Davey O’Brien Award and Manning Award as the top quarterback in college football and took home the Bowden Award as the top student athlete in college football.
Watson graduated in December after leading Clemson to a 32-3 record in his three years with the program.
The semi-finalists for the 2016 AAU James E. Sullivan Award are:
Aly Raisman (gymnastics), Ashleigh Johnson (water polo, Princeton), Brianna Turner (women’s basketball, Notre Dame), Deshaun Watson (college football, Clemson), Ginny Thrasher (rifle, West Virginia), Helen Maroulis (wrestler, Simon Fraser), Jackie Galloway (taekwondo), Kayla Harrison (judo), Kyle Lewis (baseball, Mercer), Kyle Snyder (wrestler, Ohio State), Lauren Carlini (volleyball, Wisconsin), Laurie Hernandez (gymnastics), Lonzo Ball (UCLA basketball) , Malik Monk (Kentucky, basketball), Matt Centrowitz Jr (track, Oregon), Maverick McNealy (men’s golf, Stanford), Steele Johnson (diving, Purdue) and Vashti Cunningham (track).
World renowned golfer Bobby Jones, co-founder of The Masters, received the inaugural award in 1930. Other notable athletes to win include famed Olympians Mark Spitz (1971), Carl Lewis (1981), Jackie Joyner-Kersee (1986) and Michael Phelps (2003). Former UCLA basketball star Bill Walton (1973), University of Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning (1997), Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott (2015) and UConn Forward, Breanna Stewart (2016) have also earned the prestigious honor.
After a first round of voting, six finalists will be announced and proceed to a second round of voting. The Award Ceremony will take place on Tuesday, April 11th, 2017 in New York.
Fans can vote for Watson at the following link: https://aausullivan.secure-platform.com/a/gallery?roundId=1.
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