It is down to the Fab Five as winner of the Ninth Annual Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award will be unveiled during a gala on Wednesday at Willow Brook Country Club in Tyler.
Three running backs, a wide receiver and a quarterback are the five finalists.
The five include: UTSA junior running back Sincere McCormick (Judson High School, Converse); Baylor senior running back Abram Smith (Abilene HS, Abilene); Kansas State sophomore running back Deuce Vaughn (Cedar Ridge HS, Round Rock); Ohio State junior wide receiver Garrett Wilson (Lake Travis HS, Austin) and Western Kentucky graduate student quarterback Bailey Zappe (Victoria HS, Victoria).
Cindy Smoak, Executive Director of SPORTyler, said the 2021 final five were determined by the ECTR Selection Committee.
Emcee is Brian Jones, college football studio analyst for CBS Sports and CBS Sports Network.
The finalists are:
Sincere McCormick was selected as an All-American by both the Football Writers Association of American (second team) and Associated Press (third team). He was tabbed the Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year and first-team all-conference for the second straight season. McCormick is an Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award finalist for the second year in a row. He also repeated as a Doak Walker Award semifinalist, Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Best Running Back and All-Texas College First Team pick. McCormick has rushed for 1,479 yards and 15 touchdowns on 298 carries — all UTSA records. He has caught 22 passes for 184 yards in 13 games this fall, helping lead the Roadrunners to a 12-1 record and the program’s first conference title.
Abram Smith has rushed for 1,429 yards in 2021, the second-most in the Big 12, seventh nationally and just 118 yards shy of Baylor’s single-season record. He earned second-team All-Big 12 honors from both the coaches and Associated Press, also garnering votes for the league’s Offensive Player of the Year. He was also named one of 10 semifinalists for the Doak Walker Award.
Deuce Vaughn is a first team All-American by the Associated Press and Sporting News, while he was a second team All-American by CBS Sports and USA TODAY, in addition to being named a semifinalist for the 2021 Doak Walker Award and Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award. He is a second team All-Big 12 selection by both the league’s coaches and Associated Press, while Pro Football Focus named him the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year. Vaughn enters bowl season ranking fifth in the nation in scrimmage yards per game (144.1). He ranks eighth in school history in single-season rushing yards (1,258), fourth in single-season rushing yards per carry (5.88) and tied for 10th in single-season rushing touchdowns (14).
Garrett Wilson has had an outstanding season for the No. 6-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. He’s the team’s second-leading receiver with 70 receptions for 1,058 yards and 11 touchdowns. Last week, he was named a first team All-American by the Football Writers Association of America. A second team All-Big Ten choice, Wilson ranks fourth in the conference in receptions, fourth in yards and second in touchdown catches.
Bailey Zappe, the WKU quarterback, Zappe is 442-of 639 passing (69.2%) for 5,545 yards, with 56 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He leads the nation in yards by 1,094 (next-closest is Mississippi State’s Will Rogers’ 4,451) and touchdowns by 13 (next-closest is Alabama’s Bryce Young’s 43). The all-time single-season FBS yardage record is 5,833 by Texas Tech’s B.J. Symons during his 14-game 2003 season, while the single-season FBS touchdown record is 60 by LSU’s Joe Burrow during his 15-game 2019 campaign. A performance by Zappe of 289 passing yards and five touchdowns in the Hilltoppers’ bowl game vs. Appalachian State would eclipse both marks.
Sponsors of the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award include: City of Tyler, BMW of Tyler, Brookshire Grocery Company, Christus Trinity Mother Frances Health System, Clements Fluids Management, LLC, Patterson Commercial Property Group, R.W. Fair Foundation, Southside Bank, TDI Air Conditioning/James and Sharon Wynne, Ted W. Walters, Austin Bank, Prothro, Wilhelmi & Co., Tyler Morning Telegraph, American State Bank, Texas Bank and Trust, Tyler Junior College, and the University of Texas at Tyler.
The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award, announced in 2012 by the Tyler Chamber and SPORTyler, recognizes the top offensive player in Division I football who also exhibits the enduring characteristics that define Earl Campbell: integrity, performance, teamwork, sportsmanship, drive, community, and tenacity; specifically tenacity to persist and determination to overcome adversity and injury in pursuit of reaching goals.
In addition, the nominee must meet one or more of the following criteria: born in Texas and/or graduated from a Texas High School and/or played at a Texas-based junior college or four year DI Texas college.
Previous winners include:
2013 — Bryce Petty, Baylor junior quarterback (Midlothian HS, Midlothian); 2014 — Trevone Boykin, TCU junior quarterback (West Mesquite HS, Dallas); 2015 — Greg Ward Jr., Houston junior quarterback (John Tyler HS, Tyler); 2016 — D’Onta Foreman, Texas junior running back (Texas City HS, Texas City); 2017 — Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma senior quarterback (Lake Travis HS, Austin); 2018 — Kyler Murray, Oklahoma junior quarterback (Allen HS, Allen); 2019 — J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State junior running back (LaGrange HS, LaGrange; 2020 — Kyle Trask, Florida senior quarterback (Manvel HS, Manvel).